Before actually attending any college tours, I thought they’d be pretty boring and that I’d end up walking around all day until my feet hurt too much to stand. And while some tours seem to be exactly that, there are always little perks to going. The schools I’ve visited so far have been amazing. I wouldn’t have expected anything more than what I got. The campus guides were helpful, cheery, and full of pride at each college visit. They made me feel welcome and excited about taking the next big step into college life.

If you already have a major in mind, I’d recommend taking the extra step of scheduling a separate tour of that department in addition to the general tour. They may have special opportunities for you, like the dance class I was able to take at one of the colleges I toured. Here are just a few extra things I highly recommend doing on your college visit.

Get to Know the Area

On one of my tours, I was able to find out so much about the area simply by asking my guide where she would recommend eating dinner. Not only did she give us multiple places to eat dinner and dessert, she also gave us random things to do. I ended up looking at puppies for half an hour before eating the best hamburger of my life, so it was a good day. Now, I also know if I attend that school it only takes a couple minutes driving to be able to see some über cute dogs!


Buy Some Apparel

At every school I’ve visited, I spent at least twenty minutes in the school store debating which long-sleeved tee I liked the best. Not only is apparel a good way to commemorate the trip, but you also get a new super comfy item of clothing to watch Netflix in when you should be writing an essay or something. If you end up going to that school, you already have a head start on the extensive collection of college apparel people will expect you to wear at all times.

Take Lots of Pictures

Obviously, take the cute, artsy college tour pics to put on Instagram but also take pictures of what’s around you. It’s nice to look back and be able to recall exactly how you were feeling while you were there, and it helps when thinking about where you truly want to go and where you feel most at home. When it comes time to make a decision, the pictures will help you remember the good times when high school was the biggest worry of your life.


Kelly McCarthy is a junior at Hofstra University. She’s double-majoring in criminology and psychology and pursuing dual minors in sociology and civic engagement.

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