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How To Make College Visits Easier

By a Student, Katy Bowling
As a senior high school student myself, I understand how time consuming college research can be. One of the hardest parts is going on college visits. My mom and I visited many schools that I was interested in, and the trips weren't always fun. I made some mistakes when it came to planning my college visit trips, so I compiled a list of things you should do before you head out on your college adventures!
  • 1. Mapquest. Always make sure you know where you are going. The drive is much more bearable when you actually know how to get to the college. My mom and I spent too much time arguing in the car because we were frustrated and got lost several times.
  • 1. Pack snacks. I hated all the side trips we had to make to get food because we were hungry! I look back and wish I had packed snack food so we didn't have to stop as much. This will also cut back on time spent in the car, and you'll be sure to get to the visit with your admissions counselor on time.
  • 1. Ipod. I normally always have my Ipod with me, but a few times I forgot it! These were the worst trips. Always make sure you bring your own music or mp3 player because it is unlikely your parents enjoy the music you do, and listening to their music can be annoying.
  • 1. Transcripts. Make a folder with tons of copies of your high school information. The admissions counselor may want to see what your high school classes look like, and you always want to be prepared. Keeping tons of copies in your car will be helpful in case spill something on one of them. Be sure to never bring the folder in your house, and ALWAYS keep it in your car. This way you won't forget it and it is accessible at any time on your trip.
  • 1. Plan ahead. I could have cut down on three trips if I would've planned better. See what colleges are near each other and make two college visits in one trip. I could have gone on a morning visit for one college, and then an afternoon visit for the next college. Also, see what colleges are near places you normally visit. One of the universities I looked at was right next to the mall I go to. It saved me loads of time by visiting the college in the morning, and then hitting the mall in the afternoon.
  • 1. Hotel. If the college you are looking at is far away, you may want to consider staying at a hotel. Riding in the car too long in one day can be stressful. Stay at a hotel instead and make your way back home the next day. Both you and your parent will be in a better mood and the car ride will be more pleasant.
  • Follow these tips and you'll be sure to have a much easier time with the college visit process. By the time your senior year ends you'll be excited about starting at the college you chose!

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