When visiting a college it’s also a good idea to explore is the surrounding town and what it offers to students. For example is the campus located in the country or a city? Is there a local public transportation system or do many students bring cars? Are there movie theaters, museums, restaurants, and sports arenas close by or is it mostly bars and bowling alleys and which would your teen prefer?
When it comes time for break how close is the university close to a bus or train station or an airport? For events like Parent’s Weekend or special performances are there hotels or other accommodations nearby for families to stay in?
Don’t be afraid to ask college staff or tour guides how they’d classify the relationship is between “town and gown”. For example do the college students volunteer in the local community organizations or is there a tension between the locals and the fraternity members over underage drinking parties?
Hopefully my three posts will give you and your prospective freshmen some good ideas. Please feel free to comment if you notice anything I've forgotten or find one of the tips especially helpful.
And remember, above all:
Keep a Positive Attitude!
Don’t stress out over the logistics of college visits or the thought of your “baby” leaving home. It’s not a disaster if everything doesn’t go exactly as planned, its life, and soon your teen will be experiencing that on their own, without you by their side. Traveling to different campuses together offers you a wonderful opportunity to get to know your teen better as a person and to share some of your own college memories with them.
Along the way you’ll discover that high school students are more than ready to enter this next stage of their life and, trust me, by the time you drop them off at their new dorm room you will be too!