Make Your College Visit Count

It’s been bone-chilling here in the Northeast these days, and in such weather things give off the impression of crawling to a stop. We know, however, that time waits for no one, and before we know it, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Cornell, Williams, Bowdoin, and all the other frozen colleges and universities will thaw and parents and students will be setting off on their college tours. These can be both exhilarating and excruciating, and it’s good to know how to make the most of them. You will find a number of useful articles online about how to approach the college visit. The New York Times’ blog The Choice had a good piece on it:

 http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/college-visit/?_r=0

None of the articles I saw, however, sufficiently stressed the importance of documenting your visits. There were references to making videos of various places that you encounter on campus, which is a good idea, but I’d encourage you to make notes as well that you can then refer back to, months later, when you are faced with writing that college’s supplemental essays. It makes a very big difference when you are talking about why you want to go to Michigan or Penn or Rice or Pitzer to be able to “see” a spot on campus and talk about why it felt special to you. Evoking that spot with language that hearkens back to what you actually saw when you visited will be powerful.

So, just a thought. Keep it in mind.