March 23, 2010
Preparing for College: The Campus Visit
It’s nearing the time of year when prospective college students will be visiting campuses around the country. Here’s my advice, as remembered from my own college visits in 2004, and what I wish someone had told me about them!
- Establish a mental map of campus. It’s very important to know the proximity of food and coffee (or the non-caffeinated beverage of your choice) to your dorm room.
- Scope out the library. Pay particular attention to the location of the most comfortable chairs for sleep–I mean, studying.
- Pay attention to the classrooms. You’ll be spending a lot of time there! Go into the buildings you’ll be spending the most time in, and locate the department coordinator/adviser for your major.
- Become good friends with the advisers. They can make your life much easier, and answer questions you have about classes and declaring your major.
- Locate the financial aid office. See if they have a bowl of candy at their reception desk.
- Become good friends with the financial aid officers. They distribute money, which can also make your life much easier.
- If you’re going to live on campus, check the laundry services. Clean laundry = good thing. For you, your roommates, and everyone in your classes. Also, you’ll want to know how many rolls of quarters you’re going to need.
- When you’re walking around, try to map out routes between different buildings. Knowing the shortest path between your first class of the day and your second is the difference between a good seat in your second class or the lousy seat that everyone else has rejected. (And first-day seating arrangements tend to stick, from what I’ve noticed.)
- Take note of the number of electrical outlets in the classrooms. Especially if you want to save money on printing out articles by bringing your laptop around with you.
- Speaking of printing, find out where the cheapest printing is located on campus. You’ll need to know this when you forget to print out a paper to hand in and you need it ready in ten minutes.
- Last but not least, make sure you know which spots are trouble areas for wireless internet. You don’t want to find that you can’t access your work two minutes before you need it.
Campus visits are a great chance to find out things about your college that aren’t covered in the recruiting brochures. For another take on campus visits, check out this article. Try to have fun with your visits! You’ll get to know a lot about your school from this trip. Good luck!Posted by: Sumiko