I have just returned from a spate of college visits and as this is my third go round, I couldn’t help but notice a lot sameness in each college information session and campus tour. And don’t get me wrong, I loved every one of our bright-eyed and spirited tour guides, but there’s no denying the repetition in the presentations from school to school.
Here are the nineteen things that you will absolutely, without a doubt, hear either in the information session or from the tour guide on EVERY single college tour:
19 Things Every Campus Tour Guide Will Tell You
19. We are a small/mid-sized school with all the resources of a large school while maintaining that “small school feel.” You won’t get lost in the crowd here, you won’t be just a number.
18. Everyone here is super, super, super friendly (and seemingly on cue we pass a student who says “hey” to our guide.)
17. We have the best and most unique study abroad opportunities. You can go to Antarctica to study penguins if you wish.
16. There is Greek life available here but you don’t have to be involved in Greek life to have a terrific social life.
15. We have terrific sports but if we don’t have a club team in what you want to play, you can make one, all you need is a few friends (cue the Quidditch team example).
14. We have the most tasty and varied food you will find anywhere in the world. Our cafeteria is top-rated.
13. Our professors are totally accessible. They want to get to know you and that’s why 99% of our classes are taught by faculty not teacher advisors. And if you want to do research, just reach out to a professor and they will let you do research with them, real research, the kind real live scientists do.
12. You will be told the school’s creation story-apocryphal or not these are the stories of how the school came to be.
11. You will be told those timeless school traditions (if you kiss on this bridge or under this arch, you will marry that person, if you step on this seal, you will fail your test, if you rub this statue’s toe you will ace your midterms, if you rub the elephant’s tail you will have good luck).
10. Students here never feel unsafe on campus, but if they do we have the best Blue Light System anywhere and there is a blue light every two feet (cue the pointing out of a blue light or the awkward looking for a blue light and not seeing one). The campus police can be here in under 90 seconds.
9. Our school doesn’t care who else applies from your high school, if we like your entire high school class we’ll take you all. You are only competing against yourself.
8. At our school we believe in interdisciplinary studies and most of our students are double or triple majors and they also have minors and get special certificates in things. If you think of a major you want that doesn’t already exist here, you can create it.
7. Students here are collaborative, not cut-throat like the shnooky kids at other schools.
6. There are about a million student organizations on campus and if you don’t find one you like, you can start one, easy peasy. All you need is a few friends, an advisor and some paperwork. Nothing easier.
5. Our students work hard here but they have the perfect balance of fun and rigor.
4. At our school, students are passionate about social action. And they are not faking it like they might be at other schools.
3. The first floors of the library are loud but as you go upstairs the floors of the library are quieter for more serious studying.
2. I’m going to walk backwards and I’m terribly uncoordinated (even though I am a varsity athlete in two sports) so tell me if I’m about to walk into a tree.
AND NUMBER ONE…
1. There is no magic number for GPA or standardized testing. When reviewing applications we look at the whole person. We review our applications holistically and we are looking for reasons to admit you, not deny you.
Then your tour guide will undoubtedly end the tour by telling you “their story.” They will tell you why they picked that particular school among their many, many fabulous choices and it’s never something as mundane as the weather, the city or this is the best place I got into. It always seems to come down to kismet of some sort as in it was simply meant to be.
AND THEN THE FINAL FLOURISH…
If you liked this tour, my name is Jane. If you didn’t like it, my name is Carly.