How to Ace Your Campus Tour

By: Lauren Mellott

I’m thinking of a word. This word characterizes ambitions and goals, a campus tour, and even an entire college career. Clothed in wishes and dreams, desires and needs, this word is… YOU! When it comes to your college decision, it’s all about you. For the next four, five, six, seven, eight, however many years your educational goals require, it is all about you. Your happiness and success, as well as your struggles and failures. When it comes to picking a college, the decision is yours, as a student; and the only way to truly be sure that you have found the right place is to go on a tour and feel like a student for a day.

When I was a prospective student, I was so overwhelmed with the amount of I information received, whether it was snail mail, through email, and even over the phone. With so many options, it can be so difficult to feel like you are actually making the right decision, which is why a campus tour is so important. Receiving information on the internet or through a brochure may give you the information you need, but a campus tour gives you a behind the scenes look of things you cannot experience until you step on campus, things like the culture, diversity, and personality.

I have given hundreds of tours over these past four years, so I consider myself a bit of an expert on how to get the most out of your campus tour. Here are some of the ways you can make sure you have the best experience and leave knowing much more about Jefferson.

Before you come for tour, think about the things that are most important to you in a college. Is it the food? Is it the facilities? Is it being able to walk instead of drive from your dorm to your classroom? On tour, we’re going to show you everything – dining halls, classrooms, residence halls, studios, athletic facilities, and, believe it or not, more; and we don’t expect you to remember it all. But pay close attention to those factors that you find most important and take note.

Pay attention to what your tour guide is saying. I know, it seems pretty obvious. But sometimes, it is the littlest story that may spark your interest or connect with you. We are students, just like you will be, and were in your shoes a short while ago. We know what emotions you may be feeling, and are trying to cater the tour to your unique interests. You and your family have traveled to see what Jefferson is all about, so take the time to really hear what your student tour guide is saying. This is your time and your visit, and paying attention is only going to be beneficial to the amount of useful information you remember when it comes time to make your decision.

If something a tour guide says doesn’t make sense, don’t be afraid to ask them to clarify! What makes sense to a current student may not make sense to you – it doesn’t mean that you don’t belong on campus. You just haven’t learned the antics that makes us uniquely Jefferson yet. Asking questions is another way to get the most out of your tour. Remember those things I asked you to think about? The things that are most important to you? If they’re not covered on tour, don’t be afraid to ask! This day is all about you and what you need to make an informed decision, so take advantage of that and use your time wisely!

Not only should you ask questions, but try to be okay with your parents asking questions. I know, I know – they’re SO embarrassing, but they also know a thing or two about going to college, living independently, or about you as a person. They have known you since they day you were born (which my mom likes to remind me of quite frequently) and often have a good sense of where you’ll thrive. Let them ask questions because this is just as exciting and sometimes overwhelming for them as it is for you. They ultimately want what’s best for you, and while you’re thinking of all the fun events there are to attend on and off campus, they’re thinking of how safe you’ll be walking home from the library or studio late at night (thanks, mom J).

When it comes to a campus tour, you hold the reigns. What you want to see, do, and experience is up to you. Our tour guides are here for you, so take advantage of the knowledge they hold as a student at Jefferson, and do all you can to find the best fit for you. See you soon!