How to Plan a College Tour Road Trip
One of the biggest influences in choosing a college is the campus tour. The tour allows you to not only see campus, but interact with current students and envision what it would be like to join that community. While planning a college tour road trip, try to follow these tips:
Start Planning Early
Yes, it’s possible to sign up for a college tour the night before, but tours tend to fill up fast, especially during times like spring break. Pick an area with at least a few schools you want to visit and sign up for about two tours a day. It’s possible and more efficient to tour two campuses in a day, but any more will have you feeling rushed and things might blur together. Remember, you’ll probably want to save time for a meal in the dining hall, a meeting with a coach, or a special tour of a specific department.
Write and Reflect as Soon as Possible
Because you’ll be visiting multiple schools, it’s likely you’ll forget the specifics. Ask yourself – no, force yourself! – to write down all of your thoughts on each school as soon as you can, maybe each night after dinner, or even in the car on your way to the next school. Don’t forget to take note of not only the facts like how big the school is and what resources they offer, but how you felt there.
Try to Look at Different Options
Even if you think you’d never consider a big public school or a highly selective one, it’s a good idea to get a real sense of different options. Chances are you’ll have the opportunity within the region you’re visiting to tour a school that’s fairly different than the others on your list. It’ll give you perspective and either solidify your wants or open your eyes to something you didn’t consider before.
Connect with a Student
Whether you are able to schedule a one-on-one lunch or department tour with a student, or simply approach someone around campus, a student different from your group tour guide will be able to give you other insights into the school and may even feel more comfortable telling you about things tour guides don’t typically mention.
Don’t Neglect the Surrounding Area
Don’t forget that starting college means not only a new campus, but probably a new city or even state. Take some time apart from campus visits to check out the surrounding area. Go to dinner on a recommendation from a tour guide instead of at the dining hall and make time to simply walk around. Try to get a feel for the area as a whole instead of just the campus.
“Unofficial” Visits are Okay, Too
There may be a college you wanted to see but couldn’t get onto a tour during your visit to the region, or one that got the short end of the stick and you didn’t have time for. Don’t be afraid to simply take a stroll on the campus. While you won’t get the regular vibe of an official tour, you’ll still get to see the campus, watch students in action, and maybe chat with someone. The more laid back approach is a great way to break up a long stint of touring.
Planning a college tour road trip during spring break or any other opportunity is exciting, but don’t get overwhelmed by having a plan and knowing what you want to get out of the experience. Sign up for a University of Colorado Denver tour today.
Top 10 To-Do’s Before Leaving for College
Packing up and preparing for your first year at college can be exciting, overwhelming and scary all at the same time. As you’ve probably heard before, preparation is key! In order to make the transition easier, here are some things you can do to ready yourself.
- Set up a student bank account – Now is a great time to set up a bank account to manage your money. Most banks offer online banking so that you can check your balance from a computer or your phone and some even have special deals for students like no maintenance fees. You might want to consider banks with ATMs close to campus so that you won’t pay fees when you need to withdraw cash.
- Double check your schedule – Make sure you are on track whether you’ve chosen a major or are fulfilling core requirements. You should also consider if the classes you’re signed up for will allow you a positive school/life balance. Knowing your schedule well before you start classes will allow you to develop realistic expectations.
- Reach out to your advisor – Whether you’re thinking about switching a class or want to know what you can do to prepare for your first semester of school, taking the time to contact your advisor will give you a head start and ensure that you are introduced to someone who can help when school starts and other questions arise.
- Read – College classes will demand much more of your time outside of the classroom than high school probably did. You don’t have to pick up A Tale of Two Cities or read your Chemistry textbook once through, but constantly reading anything you can will help you get used to how much reading you’ll soon be doing in school.
- Network and stay social – Find your college’s page on Facebook, search for online forums, or connect with friends of friends who are also attending your school in the fall. It may be tempting to hang out as much as you can with your high school friends before everyone goes their separate ways, but being connected to people at your new school will make the transition a little easier.
- Research clubs and organizations – While you’re spending your first few weeks getting acclimated to your classes, you might feel too overwhelmed trying to find information on clubs and organizations and want to save it for later; but by that time, it’ll feel like you’re too late. Search on your school’s website or contact your advisor before school starts to learn basic information about the clubs that interest you. That way, you’ll have a fun extracurricular to meet new people and destress from class.
- Volunteer – Develop leadership skills and have a great conversation starter in the fall by volunteering over the summer. Volunteer experiences can reveal new interests, boost your confidence, and get you in the habit of meeting new people and working on a team, something you’ll be doing a lot of when the semester starts.
- Consider a job for the upcoming semester – Have you thought about what money you’ll use for late night pizza runs or last minute presentation outfits? Find out how to apply for jobs on campus or off before the semester starts so that you’ll have a jump on all the other students inevitably looking for extra income. The best jobs fill up quick, so contact your advisor or search the school’s website for contact information.
- Download syllabi and any other early assignments – Some professors will send out introductory emails with syllabi and other documents; don’t ignore these until school starts! Take a moment to write down important syllabus dates and get a head start on your reading. You’ll be happy to be clued in and avoid feeling overwhelmed later.
- Figure out how you’ll stay on top of things – Think about how you’re staying organized now and reevaluate. A daily planner may have worked perfectly in your previous experience to keep you on track. In that case, consider buying a fresh one to get you excited about the new semester. Maybe you haven’t been very organized in the past; research different organization techniques and set yourself up to use them before school starts.
Of course, have lots of fun this summer, but make sure that you can continue to have fun in the fall by following through on our 10 tips to stay ahead of the curve.
8 Questions to Ask on a Campus Tour
The campus tour can be extremely influential when deciding which university to attend. Not only do you get to experience the campus first hand, but you can speak with your tour guide, a current CU Denver student, and learn about everything you can’t find online. Take advantage of this opportunity and ask important questions!
- What’s the food like in the dining hall and where else do students like to eat?
- What do people typically do on the weekends?
- Does CU Denver hold campus events and which ones do students like the most?
- What is school spirit like? Do a lot of people go to sporting events?
- What’s the greek life like on campus? How many students are involved?
- How does scheduling work?
- Are there on-campus work opportunities?
- What is the weirdest campus tradition?
Try to think outside of what you can find on the website when you ask questions on your college tour. Day-to-day concerns like what it’s like to live in the dorms can be just as important to your college experience as knowing how many credits you need to graduate, and your chance to find out awaits you on a tour! Click here to schedule a tour of CU Denver’s campus.
The Tivoli is Expanding
Exciting changes are happening at CU Denver’s College of Arts and Media. The school is currently underway with its most historic expansion project to date, developing completely new spaces and significantly broadening the school’s reach across campus. An ambitious plan to expand CAM’s physical presence, the project began with the help of a professional space study firm. “The analysis we received helped guide our vision for the type of physical environment we needed to reach our full potential and provide the best possible educational environment for our students,” noted Dan Koetting, Chair of the Department of Theatre, Film & Video Production and a member of the expansion committee. The new spaces will expand CAM’s reach across the entire campus with offices and classroom space extending to the King Center, 14th Street and even a complete renovation of the Tivoli Lower Level Starz Theater space.
The Tivoli renovation may be the most exciting and ambitious component of CAM’s planned expansion as it will reach across the entire lower level of what once was home to the Denver Film Society, spanning the space of 6 movie theaters in total. The vision is to provide a completely innovative new space for CAM students and faculty to interact with different focused groups within the department. The renovation will be complete with a professional production company space, dubbing stage, TV studio, editing labs, screening room’s, concept spaces, community areas, meeting rooms and even a stage. “It’s an exciting time,” noted Koetting. “This will be one of the most important periods of growth in CAM’s history and we can’t wait to see the final results.” Expansion will begin in early 2015 with final Tivoli renovation projected to be completed in the fall.