I get it. It’s just barely August, and you aren’t ready to think about school yet. But there’s still that copy of Grapes of Wrath sitting on your nightstand to read before AP Lang and Comp starts up, and the school year will be here before you can say “Number 2 pencil,” so it’s time to be proactive!
Soon to be juniors and seniors: the next year will be full of a lot of college stuff for you (exciting!). One important part of those college plans should be a couple of college visits.
As we are coming off summer, many of you may be just returning from adventures at various campuses around the US (or even the world!). These are valuable in their own right, but a summertime college visit isn’t the same as a visit when the university is in session, so I have a suggestion for you to consider now, while you have plenty of time to plan for it.
Plan your campus visits for the next year (at least the fall) now. Whip out your high school’s academic calendar, and take a look at all the student holidays. Some of them are bound to be on random, non-holiday days. That’s what you are looking for!
The best campus visits allow you to do four things:
These are the four things I ask students to do AT MINIMUM when they visit a school. You can’t do some of these during the summer, or even on the weekend. This is why the best campus visits are taken during the weekday when school is in regular session.
Of course, it’s a pain in the booty to miss a day of school (just like it’s a pain in the booty to miss a day of work – this post is less helpful for the latter, but we have the school part covered!). So plan ahead by looking at the academic calendar and find those couple days in the school year where you have a school holiday but most colleges will be in regular session. Make a circle around them in 24 karat gold leaf, and then plan some visits.
LISD kiddos, for example, you have some awesome prime-visit real estate on the calendar October 9th and 10th (a Monday and a Tuesday!). Want to go see Vanderbilt? Book it! Tulane calling? Start Google mapping it now.
Here are some academic calendars for quick reference. Happy touring!
And one more pro tip: when you finish a visit, take time to write down EVERYTHING in DETAIL using a college visit reflection sheet. You can download ours for free right here.
We are a full-service academic advising and college planning team. We started up shop in 2013 because we are passionate about helping students pursue opportunities for elite higher education. Need help? Want to know more? (972) 755-9507