This article by Stephanie Meade originally appeared on the Grown & Flown website.
Seniors, congrats on all your hard work and on being admitted to college. Can you believe you will be attending college in just a few short months? All of your hard work is about to pay off, but…you still have to choose your destination! Now is the time to learn as much as you can about what it would be like to attend the schools you are considering.
If you have a chance to visit campuses and attend their admitted student events, they can be efficient ways to learn a lot in a short space of time, as colleges usually make lots of people and resources available for these events.
1. Don’t be shy, and remember that you are the customer
Jump into the events, participate in as many of them as you can, and ask lots of questions. You have already been accepted, so you don’t have to worry about being judged by admissions! You are also now considering making a very large investment in your education at this campus, so you have every right to get the answers and information you need to make a good decision.
2. Talk to as many current students as possible
Many will be working and speaking at the events. Take advantage of any opportunity to ask them about their experiences, your burning questions about student life, and any concerns you may have.
3. Pay attention to who else is attending the event
Although not all of them will end up choosing the campus, some are likely to be your future classmates if you do.
4. Participate in a formal campus tour if you have not yet done that
The guide will likely be a student, who you can pepper with questions as you tour!
5. If possible, sit in on classes to get a sense of academics, teaching, and student engagement
There is no better way to get the feel of the academics at a school than to sit in on a few classes.
6. Talk to faculty, some of whom will be at the event
If you have an academic focus, try to speak to someone (faculty, student, or both) in the department and learn as much as possible about your programs of interest.
7. Attend the club/student organization fair if offered, and visit as many of the booths/tables as you can
Of course, focus on activities of particular interest to you, but every activity will have student representatives, providing you with additional opportunities to talk to current students about anything.
8. Eat a meal in the dining hall
Eating a meal in the dining hall is not only a way to check out the food. It’s also one of the easiest ways to see a lot of students, and observe social groups and interactions.
9. Try to arrange meetings with anyone you might want to talk to
This could be a learning resource person, a coach, a faith leader, a diversity coordinator, or someone involved with a particular program or activity. Now is a great time to meet them.
10. Schedule a meeting with financial aid
Meeting with someone in the financial aid office will help you better understand your package or negotiate it, as this is almost always easiest to do in person.
11. Arrive early and stay late
Try to wander around outside the organized events of the day. See where students are hanging out, wander through the library to see students studying, and chat with anyone you can. Especially since these students will not be working for admissions for the event, you may get more unfiltered opinions from them.