Your first trip to campus is a big deal. This is your chance to learn, explore, and make sure that the school you’re visiting is right for you.
To help you get the most out of your campus visit, we’ve compiled 13 things students wish they’d thought to do when they took their first trips to campus.
This is your visit—start exploring!
It’s great to take it all in—but make sure you’re asking questions, too. If you need suggestions for what types of questions you should be asking, check out our article on 12 Important Questions to Ask Your Tour Guide (We Bet You’d Never Think Of).
Explore as many buildings as you can—even if you don’t think you’ll have a class there.
See what’s happening outside your intended major. You never know what you might find.
Spend some quality time at the library.
Get familiar with the services and resources offered at the library. Check the hours, learn where the printers are, and scope out the quiet spots where you can get work done.
Check the student activities boards.
Student clubs, honors programs, and other organizations usually advertise their events on bulletin boards and office doors. These are a great way to get a feel for upcoming events and special class offerings that might interest you.
Explore paths less traveled.
There’s a lot happening on the main thoroughfares through campus—but you should also explore off the beaten paths.
Look for places you might not visit every day.
Locate places like the student health clinic, campus police, and the bursar’s office. You might not visit these places often, but in the event you need to you’ll be glad you took the time to find them in advance.
Explore your off-campus options.
Check out parts of town near campus, or even downtown if your school is located in a larger city. Get a feel for what’s happening off campus, grab a bite to eat, and check out the nearby shops. Better yet, ask your tour guide for recommendations of where to explore.
Don’t forget to check out student housing.
Even if you’re not sure you’ll be living in student housing, take the time to go on a tour—you might be surprised by what they have to offer.
Sit a while and listen.
Grab a seat near the student union and people watch—if, after a while, you can see yourself on campus, it might be a sign that this is the place for you.
If you’re going on several campus visits at different schools, places will start to run together after a while. Take photos along the way to help you remember your favorite spots and then share them on social media.
See if there’s an athletics event happening.
Depending on when you visit, you may get free access to a game as part of your campus visit day experience. If you are unsure, just ask your admission counselor or tour guide.
There’s so much to see and do, you’ll probably forget some things. Take notes as you go so you can follow up later. Be sure and ask your tour guide how to contact the school with questions you have after the tour.
Are you starting to visit colleges as part of your college search process? Learn what you should be doing when you visit beyond taking the "typical" campus tour in our free College Visit Checklist.