Hi I’m a graduate of the TJ class of 2008. I’m currently a third year at UVA majoring in foreign affairs, Spanish, and education, and I’m going to talk to you about visiting college campuses.
I visited way too many college campuses they all blur together in my mind... all of them have a lawn, all of them have some sort of a Rotunda, that’s all i can remember. My advice to you is whenever you go a college, bring a notebook and take notes. I would go on a campus tour, but at the same time you can get all of that information from a pamphlet, which is also useful.
So if you’re going to a college, I definitely recommend staying the night with a student, even better if you know someone there but if not every college has some kind of service where they set you up with a freshman. That’s the only way to get the feel and to really meet the freshman students and get a feel of the dorm and dining hall and everything that comes with being a college freshman.
I would recommend picking up a copy of the college newspaper, that way you can keep track of the which colleges you go to. You can really see the personality of a college through its newspaper. I would recommend visiting colleges twice if you’re really interested in them; once where you’re just trying to learn more about them, and then once you’re accepted, go back again.
I made the mistake of only going back to one college after I got accepted and I went there, and as much as I love UVA, sometimes I wish I had visited those other colleges, because once you’re accepted, it’s a whole new feel and you can really start to see yourself there. So definitely go back twice and make the time to do that. Second semester teachers are really understanding.
And really try to sit in on a class, even if you don’t know what you’re interested in yet, sit in on something like art history or math or astronomy. but make sure that it’s the right level, I accidentally sat in on an upper level engineering math class when I was trying to sit in on calculus. So, it was a little bit terrifying, but if you make sure it’s the right class it can be really helpful, you can get a really good feel of the academics at that place, which is really important.