Last Updated: Jun 4, 2016
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the CollegeXpress Campus Visit Etiquette Class!
Today, you will be learning about how to properly conduct yourself while attending a college visit. Before reading, please make sure you understand the value of college visits and the questions you should ask whilst you conduct them.
Class is about to begin—and today, we will be starting with a pop quiz!
Campus Visit Etiquette Quiz!
Before the campus visit/tour
Your preparation begins before you even leave your house. Because what you do now will affect you later.
What should I wear?
- A full-length ball gown and a blazer—one must give the right impression, and that impression is super freakin’ fancy
- My favorite sweatpants (they’re covered with Cheeto dust, but NBD, right?) and a rival college sweatshirt
- Something comfortable but nice that is also suitable for the weather and the amount of walking I’ll be doing
Correct answer: 3! You don’t need to dress up to the nines for a college tour. The guide is not keeping note of your super cute but totally uncomfortable high heels, and they’re definitely not sending the memo up to the admission office. That being said, you don’t want to dress like you just rolled out of bed on a sick day either. Instead, wear something that makes you feel comfortable but also wouldn’t make your grandmother *tsk* you in shame.
What should I bring?
- Questions I have about the school, my phone, and maybe a small notebook and a water bottle
- My recap from last night’s episode of The Voice. I might need it in case the conversation lulls…
- My laptop, head-to-toe college gear (gotta represent!), and the name and contact info for the entire admission office, my academic department, and every single alumni from the school ever
Correct answer: 1! You should always try to have some questions written down in a notebook or handy on your phone before the tour begins so you can ask your guide at the appropriate time. Beyond that, you really don’t want to bring anything wouldn’t mind carrying for an hour.
When should I show up for the tour?
- 20 minutes late. It’ll show I’m a busy person with places to be
- 10 minutes early
- Never! It was good enough that I scheduled an appointment.
Correct answer: 2! Believe it or not, punctuality is important. Be prompt! It’s the polite thing do. Also, your tour guide and group will not appreciate you walking in 20 minutes late and interrupting their tour (and who knows if one of your fellow tourees might be in your class—or dorm room??). Not to mention you’ll miss out on valuable information.
During the campus visit/tour
You’re on campus and you’re ready to see all the things. But what should you do along the way?
What should I do during the tour?
- Live-tweet all my innermost thoughts about the college (and how cute the tour guide is!)
- Talk while the tour guide is talking, because who wants to listen to their boring speech when they can listen to hilarious me?
- Try to intimidate the other prospective students in my tour group. Another one bites the dust!
- Dominate the conversation by asking all 399 of my questions like “What’s the party life like?” and not giving anyone else in the group a chance to speak
- Correct the tour guide when they don’t know the exact year the finance building was established. Amateur
- Be respectful of the guide, others in my group, and myself
Correct answer: 6! While it is okay to have your phone out to take pictures or notes during a guided tour, try to do this in moderation. Your tour guide may not know exactly what you’re doing on your phone and could interpret it as you being disrespectful of their time. Try to limit your side conversations too, even if they’re about the school; you still want to respect your tour guide, plus you don’t want to miss stuff.
After the campus visit/tour
So many thoughts and feelings and pictures to Insta!
Okay, the tour just ended. What do you do?
- Run! These fight-or-flight instincts have kicked in more than usual since starting junior year…
- Cry about the expense of college and how I need to start using the CollegeXpress scholarship search to afford it
- Thank my tour guide (and anyone else who helped me) for taking the time to show me around the college, especially since most tour guides are either volunteers or paid very little
Correct answer: 3! Always say “thank you” when you’ve been helped. You didn’t even need this etiquette class to know that one!
Soo…the college wasn’t what you expected at all. How do you share your feelings?
- Complain—loudly—about how lame the campus was
- Complain about how lame the campus was, but, ya know, quietly and stuff
- Wait until I’m away from the campus or in the car to talk about my feelings in private
Correct answer: 3! You never know who will be listening when you complain, or even discuss, the college you just visited. It’s best to share your personal opinions with your parents or friends in private settings where no school official or student could misinterpret what you say.
Based on how the tour went, I’m going to…
- Use the experience as a factor in my eventual college decisions
- Tell everyone about my tour guide’s bad breath and how the entire school obviously doesn’t value dental hygiene
- Apply only to this school, because it was such an amazing tour, I can’t imagine any college being better!
Correct answer: 1! Even if your tour guide was the worst (or best), you have to keep in mind they’re only one voice you’re hearing from. And don’t let a campus visit sweep you off your feet either. Remember, you’re probably seeing the college at its very best, and there’s a lot more to picking a school than how perfect the visitor center was. Campus visits are important, but they’re still one part of a bigger picture.
Congratulations, if you follow all of these rules, you will not only have aced this quiz but also conducted yourself with decorum during your college visit! (And if there are any etiquette nerds in the house—we are!—you can read 14 more campus visit etiquette tips here.)