November college visit impresses
For many seniors, visiting a college can be the first or final step in deciding where they spend the next four to six year of their life. College trips give students a chance to preview colleges without commitment and find if it might be the right choice for them. Visiting a university campus lets you fully experience student life first hand.
You can sit in on classes, check out the dorms and participate in school events to get a feel for how being a student at that college is. For some, however, visiting a campus in person may not seem feasible. Luckily, more colleges are creating virtual tours so prospective students. In addition, looking at college reviews by students can give you an idea of what to watch out for or look further into. Altogether though, taking a day or two for a college trip can be a rewarding a memorable experience that you shouldn’t miss out on.
With all the excitement and craziness that ensues during the college application and visiting phase, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or caught by a marketing ploy. College recruiters can be your best friend but also may lead you down the wrong path. Similar to used car salesmen, they will let you know all the great details about a college buy will most likely leave out the less favorable ones.
However, If you prepare yourself with this knowledge ahead of time, it becomes easy to gather the information not mentioned. Remember that there is no perfect college out there, if you are unable to find a negative, you might not be looking hard enough.
The final piece you should include in deciding what colleges to visit is not limiting yourself. Don’t choose only one college to visit, check out a multitude. Remember that seeing the campus and classes in person can make or break your previous decisions. When you finally choose what college to spend the next four years at, absolutely make sure you’ve seen it in person. Do not end up at a college only to find out a month in that you can not stand the campus, teachers or student life.
Figuring out how to visit a college can be a step that confuses many seniors. Do you just show up? Do I have to make an appointment? Where do I even go? These are all question I have personally heard people ask. Luckily the answers are simple. The first and easiest step is to check out the colleges’ website. Most of the time information on how to visit and tours will be available. Alternately, you could call the college and be transferred to a representative who would be happy to answer your questions and schedule a visit.
Grand Canyon University visit
My personal journey into college trips started with Grand Canyon University in November. I first heard of the opportunity during a presentation from college rep Colleen Ault in my AP literature class. After filling out an information card, Ault contacted me and advised me to attend her application workshop if I had any interest in the school.
Once my application was complete, it was time for my parents to meet with Ault and discuss my future with the school. She told us of an opportunity to visit GCU and see the campus first hand. The GCU Discover trip is paid in full for prospective students and gives them an opportunity experience campus life and learn more about opportunities regarding their majors.
When I first arrived at the airport Thursday morning, I was anxious yet excited. Luckily, two of my classmates, Jacob Provost, ‘18, and Joshua Villa, ‘18, soon arrived as well. Eventually, Ault and the students from other local schools groups gathered with us and we headed off. With a quick hour and a half flight, I soon stepped off the plane in Arizona.
After getting shuttled to the school, our group of Discover students met up with other discover groups from the Sacramento area. They gave us a quick welcome presentation and set us up with our major based schedules. Based on the school of the students’ major, the school set up specific tours to highlight places that might interest them. They even included presentations from professors and seniors in the program.
With my major being business management, I heard from students in the business program and attended a presentation from two of their professors. We received information on the various business majors, along with possible internship opportunities within our field. These presentations we surprisingly helpful and even provided me with information I could use at any school.
Overall, I’m very appreciative of all the speakers for giving me useful information regarding financial aid, the importance of internships, and what having an emphasis on your major was.
Once all the – no offense – but boring college stuff was completed it was time for something fun, the first D1 basketball game of the year for GCU. Hundreds of Discover students from all over the United States gathered in the stadium only to be followed by what seemed like the entire school. Never before had I seen a student section alone fill half a stadium.
As I looked around, a sea of purple went out to either side. When cheers were given, the entire stadium roared. This was one other the best college or professional sports games I had ever been to. Once the game ended in a 30 plus lead by GCU, my group of Discover students decided to end the night at the campus bowling alley.
While we returned to Fresno the next day, the trip is something I will never forget. From the useful information I received to the friendships I formed, this trip was an amazing experience. For anyone interested in attending a college, you should highly consider visiting your choices. Being able to experience the campus first-hand is an invaluable opportunity.
For more opinions, read COLUMN: My discovery in the Islamic Republic of Iran and COLUMN: Dealing with conflict.
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