As you search for the college that’s right for you, we know you’ll be visiting and touring a good number of campuses. It may get overwhelming at times and cloud your decision-making abilities, but don’t fret—we’re here to help! While on any campus, there are key locations all students and their families should be sure to visit. Places both on and campus that, if you decided to attend that school, will find yourself spending quite a bit of free time.
Residence Halls- Since most first-year college students are required to live on campus, your residence hall will become your home away from home very quickly. Be sure to ask for a tour of the rooms so you can get a better idea of what your new space will look like. Ask questions about what furniture is included and what you can bring with you. Most schools will not allow any microwaves or hot stoves, so ask about a kitchen and be sure to locate those central points in the hall. If socialization is important to you, be on the lookout for halls that have common areas and recreational activities for the residents.
Classrooms/Lecture Halls- We know, we know, this is probably not the most appealing part of your tour, but it is important. Taking a look at your classrooms and lecture halls will allow you to get a glimpse of what it’ll be like on your first day of class. Do you see yourself sitting in the midst of 300 or more students? Or do you prefer a smaller class with no more than 50 seats? Pay attention to the resources in your academic building and where your future professors’ offices are located. Are the labs for science classes on the other side of campus? If so, are you willing and able to make the trek on class days?
Career Services- It is never too early to start thinking ahead. Becoming familiar with this office will prove to be beneficial when it comes time to look for an internship or job. The staff can help you not only determine your career path, but they can help you secure internships and point you in the right direction of your first real job. Information concerning networking events and other occasions to meet with professionals in your area of interest should also be available here.
Computer Labs- While most students these days have their own laptops, it’s important to know where computer labs are located in the event something happens to your personal computer. Take note of what types of PCs are available for use and if the equipment and software are up to date. Some courses may require that you access material from the school’s server making it necessary to use a computer lab.
Library- In today’s world of technology, some find it foreign to pick up a book, but there’s nothing like using an encyclopedia for research. Be sure your tour makes a pit stop at the library and scope out the variety of books available to assist you when writing your first research paper. The library is also a good place to have some peace and quiet when your roommate decides they want to have some friends over while you’re studying.