So you’ve planned the all-too-exciting college visit! If one of your goals is to check out campus and get a feel for the environment, a tour should definitely be on your to-do list. And that student walking (backward) at the head of the group shuttling you from place to place? They’re not only your tour guide, but a fantastic resource for all things college. Below you’ll find some quick and easy ways to make your best impression on the expert students who bring their campus to life each and every day!
- Don’t let your parents take charge.
Don’t be shy. Ask most college tour guides, and they’ll say it’s an all-too-common scene: high school students trailing behind them, mumbling to their parents but too shy to ask their own questions. The number one way to impress your tour guide is by taking charge during the tour and showing them that you’re the one interested in the college, not your parents.
- Ask Questions.
Tour guides are trained to give you the facts, but they’re also very eager to share their personal experience. Some of my best tours are those where prospective students dared to ask those weird questions like what is in my refrigerator or even requested (although never granted the permission) to push the blue light to test the real-time readiness of campus security. Make the tour personal.
- Do your research.
Tours should be supplemental to the information you have already researched on our school website. With that being said, the tour is the perfect time to get a sense of whether or not a college is a good fit for you. Given all the information your brain (the one you are hoping to fill with knowledge) is processing, continuously ask yourself if you can picture yourself on our campus – tour guides can tell when you’re interested and when you’re not. More importantly, are succulents your favorite plants? They will be if you come to Pitzer.
- Put it away.
Although infrequent, there have been occasions when students and parents spend more time on their phone than paying attention to the tour guide. Not only is this inappropriate, but it shows the tour guide that you’re not interested in our campus. Tour guides are experts; they have been trained, and are always ready to talk to you about our campus. Impress them by being present during the tour and not adrift on your phone.
- Stay near the front.
Tour guides aren’t given headsets, although I’m sure all of us would enjoy using them. The best thing to do during the tour to avoiding not hearing something is to stay near the front. Tour guides will never hesitate to repeat something, but the tour would go a lot smoother if they didn’t have to.
- Be excited!
Shine bright like a diamond. Just kidding. Diamonds don’t shine. But really, one of the best ways to leave an impression with your tour guide is to show them your passion for the school. One way of doing this is to ask about specific parts of campus or programs that you’re excited to be a part of.
Posted by Carlos G. Perrett ’18