Features 11/8/13

Conservation group will create

outdoor classroom for SPJUSD

By Cheyenne Little

Roar Reporter

With Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks coming up, many students may decide to take college tours.

It is important to make the most of your tours by seeing everything you possibly can and learning as much as you can about the colleges you want to attend.

Set up tours at the colleges you are thinking about. You can sign up for a tour by visiting the college’s website and clicking on the tour link.

Remember, sometimes things look better on paper than they do in real life.  Don’t take the brochure for its word.

Visit colleges, as many as possible. If it’s not possible to go to the college, go to its website; there may have a virtual tour you can watch. You won’t get the complete experience, but you will get to explore the campus.

When on a college tour, to get the feel of a school, make sure you go everywhere on campus. This includes libraries, cafeterias, at least one dorm, an athletic facility, a small classroom, a large classroom and the student union. Make sure you go to all the important places. Ask questions about the campus. Don’t pass up the student store; it’s part of the school, too!

Now, it is one thing to walk around a campus with your parents, but being a student is a lot different. Ask your parents if they wouldn’t mind sitting at the coffee shop as you go to explore on your own. Act like you’re a student.

One way to get the real college experience is to spend the night in a dorm. Many colleges will set you up with a host student who is willing to show you around for a couple days.

This gives you not only the experience of sleeping in a dorm but the experience of college life. How much do students spend studying? What do they do after school? If you went to the school, where would you spend your afternoons? Experiencing a night at a college might help you decide if you like the atmosphere.

Of course, you want to choose a school that will help you academically, but you also want a school that is right for your personality.

You don’t want to be stuck at a school that makes you miserable, and you can’t wait to transfer out of.

Go on a day when students are on campus and talk to a few of them. Many of them probably love the college, but some many not. You want to get several different opinions to see if this college is right for you.

It’s great to ask your tour guides questions, but remember they are being paid to promote the school. They may be honest with you, but their view will always be biased. Don’t let that stop you from asking the tour guides questions; they still know a lot about the school even if they have a bias.

Ask questions that seem most important to you. You may want to get an on-campus job. Are there any? You may want to know where the best study spots are or what you would have to do to play sports. Ask questions that will enhance your understanding of what the school has to offer.

Try to arrange a tour that will let you sit in on a class you may possibly want to major in. It may seem interesting now, but imagine having to take that class. Would you want to? This might help you with deciding on not only a college, but a major as well.

Don’t pick a school just because it was the one you always liked. It may end up being the school for you, but there’s a chance you may like something better. Keep you options open. You may fall in love with the first college you see, but you never know what’s out there.

For more help one how to make the most out of your college visits, you can go to http://senioryear101blog.wordpress.com/.

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