How to make the most out of college tours

Visiting colleges is a big deal.  As a higher schooler, it is hard to figure out where you want to spend the next 4 years of your life.  At first it can be exciting, but as the novelty wears off, the tours can become a bit of a burden.  However, after a year of touring 16 colleges in different towns, I have figured how to make the most out of them and I want to share some of my insight.  For high schoolers everywhere, college tours don’t have to be dreaded.  The key is turning them into mini vacations of sort.  By taking time to explore a given town or area, you not only get to experience new places but also get to see first hand what life is like for students at a said college.


  1. Stay somewhere near a school.  Sometimes, especially in bigger towns, the school could only be near a small part of town.  More often than not, that area is more charming and caters more towards students and a younger crowd.  Fun shops and cool hang out restaurants inhabit these areas, making the trip more amusing.
  2. After you tour a school, I highly recommend visiting the school chapel or church.  More often than not, a school’s chapel marks the peak of beauty at a school.  You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the different types of architecture these chapels have to offer.  Take some time to marvel at the beauty.
  3. However, don’t spend too much time on the campus.  Instead, make time to explore the local area.  When going to school, you’re living in that town.  Don’t feel as though you have to spend all day on campus.  Go explore and make it fun!
  4. Try to stay, if possible, in a local inn or bed and breakfast.  Usually, these types of places are more in the part of town where you want to be.  Also, they are fun and the people there really know the area well.  I recommend asking the inn owners about local places to eat and shop.  They often know a lot about the history of the area and such, so ask them to learn more about where you are.
  5. Now, if you are in a big city, that is different.  A good way to ask for advice on what to do is to ask the college themselves as they often want to show potential prospects the best of what is around.
  6. Eat at local places.  Different regions and places have their own specialities that are always worth a try and they help you really understand the area.  Don’t just eat at chain restaurants.  Have some fun eating at cool places!

    Oysters in Connecticut

  7. See what other activities you can do in the area.  Visit a museum or do some site seeing.  Make the most out of where you are.


    On a trip to New York State, we ventured to Niagara for a fun experience!

  8. Lastly, have a positive attitude and enjoy it.  You only go to college once!

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