This summer, many juniors will be visiting colleges across the US, trying to find out which one fits them best. Here are some tips for those embarking on that academic journey.
- Take a look at the surrounding town: With large colleges, like NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill or Duke, this isn’t as important, as most things you will need/want can be found on campus. But for smaller schools like UNC Pembroke, William & Mary, or Davidson, you probably want to see what’s what in the town surrounding the college. Not only can this help you find out where necessities are (grocery and convenience stores, pizza places, etc), but can also help you get a feel for what your soon-to-be-home will be like.
- Visit departments with courses that interest you: While most college-offered tours are great, most don’t go into specific areas of interest in the school. If you know what you’re interested in, I would highly recommend visiting the departments that suit those interests. They, along with the university’s Office of Admissions, often have information about that particular subject. This information often includes course paths and outlines of the basic structure of the subject at that school.
- Eat at the dining hall: Many schools require that freshmen get a meal plan. While the food at a school may not be necessarily be a deal breaker for most people, it would certainly be a good idea to see what it’s like. Most schools that offer summer courses will have open dining halls, so you can get some food there.
- Ask about air conditioning: I know this sounds weird, but many universities still have dorms where AC isn’t readily available, so asking about it is definitely a good idea.
- Look out for nearby transportation: Many larger schools don’t allow freshmen (or, at some schools, sophomores as well) to have vehicles on campus. Therefore, it would be beneficial both to you and your parents to look for nearby transportation hubs: train stations, bus stations, airports, whatever, as long as it gets you from your college to home.
Most other things you will need to know will be discussed by the often friendly tour guides or the admissions staff.