Michael Markoch

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY- College visits become a huge part of a high school upperclassman’s life.  They help determine which college they will attend after high school.

On April 20, I went on a visit to Northwestern University and I absolutely loved it.  Here are a few key things that everyone should know to prepare for a college visit and what to expect once you get there.

The first thing students must prepare for is how to get there.  In order to reach Northwestern’s main campus, I had to go all the way around the city of Chicago and that added time to my trip, so it’s good to know where the campus is and how to get there.  If it’s near a big city, prepare more time for traffic and stoppages.

The next thing to prepare for is the weather.  It was surprisingly warm on campus, but I still brought a winter coat in case it got really cold.  Bring layers in case the weather changes because you can never trust it.

The final thing to know for your college visit is prepare questions for the students and faculty on campus.  They all will ask for questions and they will answer anything you ask. So don’t be shy and find out what you want to know because that’s the point of a college visit, to discover what YOU want.

As for the visit itself, what students get out of them is up to them.  All visits start with a 30-45 minute information session during which an Admissions Director and/or a student will talk about the college and cover the academics, campus life, admissions, and financial aid possibilities.  There is also a time for questions after the session.

After the session, you and your parent(s) will be put onto a campus tour with a student.  Northwestern did things a little differently because they let the tour guides introduce themselves and then the students could pick which guide they wanted for their tour.  Most schools, however, assign guides to a group of students.

While on the tour, you are most likely not going to see the entire campus; there isn’t enough time for that, but you can always stay on campus after and explore yourself.  You can visit the student unions, the athletic facilities, or even some of the restaurants on campus.

Overall, a college visit is nothing to stress about, as it is a very relaxed event.  Don’t visit every school, but only the ones you’re interested in. Hopefully visits will help you discover what you want in a college and prepare you better for your future.