Visiting Your New Home
Let me start by saying CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ACCEPTANCE TO KENYON! You have worked really hard to get to this point, so take a moment to recognize all of the time and effort you and the people who have supported you have put into this process.
Now it’s time to figure out which of these wonderful colleges you’ll be attending for the next four years. One of the best ways to do this is by visiting (or revisiting) your top schools. But when — and to where — should you pack your suitcase and hit the road? Below, I present to you a simplified version of conversations I’ve had with students planning their spring college visits:
1. When should I visit?
Great question. Each college may have sent you a nice brochure or a link on a website that goes over the dates of their visit programs throughout April. (Hint: Kenyon’s visit days for accepted students are April 10-11 and April 17-18.) Pick the ones that make sense for you and your family — you don’t have to go during their major visit programs (though those may be super fun). If you’ll be stressed out about that Calc exam you have the day you get back, you may not be able to focus on enjoying your time on campus, so keep that in mind. And think about your own personality type — would you prefer to see the campus with hundreds of other prospective students milling about, so you can meet some of your potential future classmates, or would it be better to go when you can have a more individualized experience? That’s all up to you, but think it over as you’re planning your travel.
2. Do I need to visit every school I got accepted to?
Again, more of a personal choice, but I suppose it depends on how many schools are on your list. If you have 15 acceptance letters sitting in front of you, you may not be able to visit them all, but use what you know about them to pick the ones that are the best fit or the schools with which you aren’t as familiar. If your older sister attends [insert college here] and you’ve visited eight times, you may not get as much out of that trip as a visit to that school you’ve always been interested in but wasn’t able to travel to during the year. Most importantly, don’t burn out by squeezing in too many visits. These experiences should be fun!
3. What should I do on campus during my visit?
Some colleges may have every moment of the day planned out for you, which is great, but try to find some time to just wander around. Talk to students in the dining hall and ask them why they chose the school. Check out the coffee shop and listen to the conversations going on around you (though not in a creepy way, of course). Are these the people you’ll want as your classmates? Wander around and try to get a feel for the place. And at the end of the visit, take some time to reflect and write down your thoughts. If you are that student squeezing in 15 trips, you may be surprised how similar those two colleges down the road from each other seem a few weeks later. Ultimately, you can decide what will be helpful, but most students enjoy sitting in on a class, spending time with a student and checking out the local ice cream place (that last one may just be me).
If you decide to visit campus, that’s excellent! We’re looking forward to seeing you on the Hill. Try to give us a few days’ notice so we can make your visit as personalized and wonderful as possible. Beyond that, safe travels to Gambier — can’t wait to meet you all!
5 Important Things to Do on Your Campus Visit