By Zack L., myclubmylife.com Teen Reporter, BGC of Iwakuni (Japan)
It is impossible to overstate the importance of touring college campuses. Brochures, websites, college admissions presentations, guidance counselors and videos can help to give you an idea of what school you want to attend, but visiting and seeing a college campus for yourself can totally change your opinion on where you want to go for college. A visit allows you to see firsthand the environment and evaluate the academics, athletics, housing and the social life of that college.
Experiencing a school for yourself is the best way to determine whether a college is right for you. You may not think a college is your favorite, and then decide that you love it after visiting. Or, you may be interested in a college based on information you’ve received from various sources, but then find out that it’s not the school for you after a visit.
This summer, I toured several colleges, including Duke University (pictured above) and University of Southern California (USC) (pictured to the left). Prior to these tours, I had no real interest in USC. In fact, I only toured it because I was in the area and had some time to kill. The tour totally changed my perspective on that school. I loved the campus, the people, the faculty, and the overall atmosphere of the college.
Duke, on the other hand, had been my number one choice prior to the visit. After my tour of Duke and a three-day stay in Durham, N.C., just a few minutes from campus, I decided that I was less interested in Duke than I had been previously. I just didn’t like the area or the dormitories, and the atmosphere on campus was less inviting than that of USC.
Seeing those colleges for myself offered the best insight of all. It is not uncommon for someone to change his or her mind about a college after visiting the campus. I’m glad I toured those colleges, because it’s better to find that out that you don’t like a college before you arrive in the fall with all of your books and bags in hand.