Don’t You Just Love College Tours?!

Caroline M., Writer

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I wake up early on a Saturday morning — to be more precise, 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I roll over, encased in my cocoon of blankets, and silence the blaring alarm coming from my phone. Staring at the ceiling, I think, “Maybe I’ll like the school…or maybe not…probably not” but these are groggy, peeved thoughts of a sleep deprived teen. The school will probably be great.

I inch my way out of bed and go to my closet. I open it to find an array of decent clothes, but nothing to wear to a college tour.

“Do I dress fancy?”

No, that’ll give off an uptight vibe or a “my parents dressed me” vibe.

“Alright, maybe something comfortable.”

Good idea, but I can’t wear a sweatshirt and leggings to a college tour. Not presentable enough.

“Sweater and blue jeans?”

Don’t own any blue jeans…

Ultimately, I end up choosing colored jeans, a comfortable sweater, and sneakers.

The ride to the school can vary. You’re either excited to see the school of your dreams, or you crash in the passenger’s seat to the sound of your parent/ guardian barrraging you with questions about the school, your major, interests, etc, etc, etc.

Your trip can go three routes:

  • you go and enjoy the school
  • you go and hate school
  • you don’t even go (this only happened once to me because parking at BU is terrible. and we missed the appointment).

Ok, here’s the good part:

You walk into the welcome center and see a peppy, college junior awaiting your arrival. They ask for your name and how many people are in your party, like this is a reservation for fancy restaurant that only the best of the best get to be seated at. You get your pamphlet that has school pride splattered on the front – with the important stuff on the back – and you join a crowd of expressionless teenagers and their overbearing parents.

Now comes the “meal” which is the presentation. Another peppy college admissions person, either alumni or staff, comes in and gives the same PowerPoint every other college uses, just with different fonts and “cool” transitions (and maybe the occasional promotional video). They get very, very serious when they reach the average GPA for incoming freshmen and the requirements to even be considered to be a part of their pristine program and bounce back to normal like they just didn’t terrify us about every single decision we’ve made in our high school careers. Once that quick info sesh is over, we move onto the juicy part: the tour of the campus.

Ok, the tour isn’t actually that interesting. You see a few buildings based on what the majority of what group wants to do for their futures (it’s usually just business majors or “undecided” on the tours). The dorms are usually small, messy, and have a strange smell masked by a few hundred candles spread throughout the room. The campus is either urban or green space. That’s it. No in between. You have to choose just one. The really good parts of the tour are not the actual campus, but the people you encounter.

Oh, you meet quite a few characters on college tours. You have the pushy, Long Island Mom who asks too many obvious questions already answered in the info session and makes a scene in every building you tour. Intense Dad who wants his son on the D1 team or this school isn’t for him. Younger Sibling that just won’t sit still and causes problems for the parents, and finally, my favorite, Scrapbook Mom. Scrapbook Mom just loves to take pictures and hold up the tour just so she can get a picture of her child in front of cool landmarks on the campus. Scrapbook Mom also loves to mention “how excited she is to be here” and won’t shut up about her amazing child to the tour guide. You can tell the tour guide does not want to be confronted by Scrapbook Mom.

Sadly, my mother was Scrapbook Mom. I’m getting flashbacks to the GW tour as I’m writing this…

Anyways, college is great, or so I’ve heard from multiple tour guides. It’s a new milestone in your life that you get to pick. It’s a big decision that you can’t do alone, so you have to go on these nightmare tours to learn what you want for you and your next four years as an adult. It can also be scary, so yes, sometimes you will need your parents’ guidance, even if they are like the more insane ones I described earlier. Honestly, I don’t hate these tours; they just get monotonous after the first five you go on. Some parts are extremely boring, but I know after each tour I’m one step closer to my future and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

One last piece of advice: wear comfortable shoes. Blisters are the worse and you don’t want them if you have back to back tours. I had to learn that the hard way.

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