It's springtime! Which means that it's time for college-bound students across the country to desperately make last-minute decisions regarding which college to go to, which will in turn affect the quality of degree you receive, how successful you are in life, who you will marry, and how cute your babies will be. Proven fact. So as a prospective student (or prospie) it’s only natural that you would, in order to ensure that your babies are as cute as possible, want to scope out the campus beforehand. You know. Check out the… quality of the academics and such. (To the prospies who are there to check out the gender of your choice: you’re not fooling anyone). Here’s how to make the most out of your visit AND be a gracious guest.
· Ask questions. I know this is painfully obvious, but nobody likes a creepy silent prospie. Dying to know the bathroom per capita ratio on campus? Chances are that nobody can answer you, but they will be mildly entertained by your question, and more likely to be your friend. Sit in on (the right) classes. It all depends on how your visit is organized, but at my school, prospies go to classes the day after they sleep in their host’s room, so if given the chance, ask someone which professors to observe. It can make all the difference; I, for one, fell madly in love (we’re going to get married someday. Once I dispose of her husband) with a certain Classics professor on my visit to school. But then I sat in on a bad Art History class, and probably wouldn’t have ended up here if I hadn’t already been infatuated.
· Don’t be obnoxious in said class. Nobody minds it when prospies sit in, but (in discussion classes) everyone minds it when the prospies get in debates about the author’s intent. Yes, that actually happened in my fiction class.
· Don’t hook up with anyone. Please? Unfortunately, this is what some prospies come looking for, which is definitely not the purpose of the visit.
· Meet as many people as you can. This means professors, admissions counselors, students, janitors; everyone. Chances are that everyone will have at least slightly differing opinions on everything. For instance, while a student might think it's super awesome to sneak vodka into the library, the librarian might think otherwise. Not that any crime as heinous as that would ever happen at a respectable institution such as mine. And certainly not during finals week.
· If you’re staying overnight, and your assigned host sucks, ditch her. I’m sorry, but has been known to happen, especially when they have a lot of work or hate school or their life or something. If you feel like you could get a better experience with one of your host's friends (or whomever), then go for it; nobody will blame you.
· Do your best to get a feel for the student body. Granted, this isn’t easy when you’re on a two-hour tour and the guide has been instructed to answer all questions with “students here are smart and hardworking, but we know how to have responsible fun too!” If you’re staying on an overnight visit (which I’d highly recommend), just hanging out with your host will give you a better idea of what the school is all about then asking the tour guide anything.
· Get rid of your parents. Seriously. Let them go talk to the financial aid people or something. This is your time to figure out what you want and don’t want from your school, and they might have different opinions on what you want.
Ginger’s Song of the Week: Have you ever heard of FloRida? Well he and I are in a huge fight right now. He destroyed this song. Destroyed it.
Are you visiting colleges soon? Are you nervous?
Related post: A Much-Too-Honest College Tour