In the second part of this four-part series devoted to the campus visit, I want to explore the importance of noticing less obvious aspects of a campus.
Pay attention to detail
Hopefully when you’re planning your visits, you’re already starting to consider the things that are important to you about your college experience. Naturally, you’re going to be curious about things like school spirit, whether your desired major is offered, and how big your dorm room might be, but be sure to pay attention to other, smaller details, as well.
- Is there litter strewn about campus?
- Are there electrical outlets missing in the classrooms?
- Do the restrooms have toilet paper, soap, or paper towels missing?
While some of these things seem like no-brainers, you’d be surprised how many students I’ve spoken to over the years that were so excited to be on a college campus that they were wrapped up in people-watching and conversations and completely neglected to see cafeteria trays that had been tossed onto a bush carelessly or that the door handle to a residence hall was broken.
I’d never encourage a student to make a college decision based on chipped paint, but be sure to notice how well the campus facilities are maintained, because this can be indicative of how the college handles other areas, as well.
Ultimately, finding the right educational experience will be far more dominated by the scholastic integrity of professors, internship opportunities, outcome statistics, and whether or not you feel like a valued part of the campus body. It is worth mentioning, however, that taking note of an institution’s facilities and exterior maintenance can reflect additional “pride points” that may be less important academically but still influential in your decision-making process nonetheless.
Tune in next week for Part III of how to get the most out of your campus visits! I'll be discussing the importance of striking out on your own.