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Uncovering the College Campus: The Post-Tour Tour 

Uncovering the College Campus: The Post-Tour Tour 

Usually after a college tour ends, most families hang around for a few minutes, then leave.

Don’t be that family.

Remember that attending a university is going to be a significant investment of your time and money, so you want to ensure that you’ll get the college experience you’re looking for.

While guided tours offer valuable insights, they often follow a set path and focus


on a few highlights. They’re organized to cater to the majority because there just isn’t enough time to cover everything that every student on the tour may be interested in.

That’s where you have to go in and design your own college tour experience.


Simple. Do your research in advance then hang around the campus after the official tour ends and give yourself a post-tour tour.

Figure out what makes the campus special to you. Walk around the campus, check out the facilities, and see what the students around the university are up to.

Here are a few tips to help you systemically customize your tour:



  1. Research and Plan

  • Check online: Explore the college website, social media platforms, and online resources to uncover additional information about the campus.

 You may have already done this as part of your college search process but be sure to have clear notes. Every bit of research could be         useful so figure out a way to keep track of the information.

  • Identify Your Areas of Interest: Think about what you’re interested in. It could be academics & research, sports, student organizations, study abroads/co-ops, and so on.

 Maybe you’re interested in learning more about the history of the university or certain traditions. Make note of that.


  • Use the Campus Maps: Particularly when touring large campuses, it may be useful to familiarize yourself with the campus layout.

That way, you know which buildings or sections of the campus may be of interest.

Ex. If you’re thinking of pursuing medicine and the university has a medical school attached to it, then why not check it out as well?

  • Timing and Logistics: Depending on the time of the year you go on your tour, certain facilities may not be open.

Or, on the flip side, the university may have special events happening that may be of interest to you. If so, plan your tour around it.

2. Must-Visit Locations

Academic Departments: Venture into specific academic buildings and see what’s going on.


If possible, to do so without being disruptive, sit in on a lecture and talk to professors or students in your field of interest.

And during your walk, read the flyers posted around the building to see what kinds of opportunities – research, academic programs, volunteering, etc. – are available to students. What’s the latest happening in that department?

Does it all look interesting? Or did you see something different at another university that might more appealing?

Hidden Study Spaces: See if you can find the lesser-known study areas, libraries, or research centers that have the vibe you want.

Tip: Sometimes you have to venture into the unexpected buildings to find your hidden study space. As a Biology major, I used to study at the Architecture Library because it was cozier!


Recreational Facilities: Basically, think about what you could be doing in your spare time while you’re there.

Explore the fitness centers, sports arenas, art studios, or performance spaces to get a glimpse of the possible entertainment and extracurricular opportunities on campus.

Remember, you’ll only have classes for 0-5 hours per day, so you want to know how else you can fill your time.

Unique Landmarks & Traditions: Find the iconic statues, historical sites, or architectural marvels that show the campus’s rich history and culture. Does the campus have any ghost stories?

You may have seen or heard a few during your tour but go see the rest!

Student Hangouts: Check out the places around campus where most students spend their time. Visit cafes, student lounges, food courts or gathering spots.


3. Engage with the Community

Interact with Current Students: Strike up conversations with students you come across during your post-tour tour. You never know what you might learn. Just remember to be polite and respectful of their time.

Teens should be the ones having these conversations, not parents.

Also, take note of the diversity around campus. Are different ethnicities, LGBTQ+, etc. represented? If not, would it bother you or would you be okay with it? There’s no right answer, it’s based on personal preference.

Meeting Professors or Advisors: If possible, schedule meetings in advance with faculty members or academic advisors to discuss academic programs, research opportunities, or career guidance.

No pressure to get in touch with a professor, but if you’ve come across a professor who works in a field you’d like to study, why not reach out a few weeks prior to your scheduled tour and see if they can meet with you?


Attend Campus Events: Check out bulletin boards, event calendars, or online platforms to find cultural events, guest lectures, or club meetings happening on campus during your visit.

Dining: Try out a couple of the campus dining options to get a taste of the type of food available.


Explore the Surrounding Areas: Taking a walk or short trip around the campus neighborhood to understand the local community, check for any safety concerns, and ways the local community may complement your college experience.

4. Document and Reflect

Write down Your Impressions: Carry a notebook or using a note-taking


app to jot down your thoughts, feelings, and observations during your post-tour tour.

If you’re taking notes on your phone, just be mindful of when you’re pulling your phone out. You don’t want to seem disrespectful in any way.

Take Photos & Videos: Use a camera or your phone to take photos of notable locations, beautiful scenery, or moments that resonate with you.

And while you’re capturing memories, teens, record a 2–3-minute video of yourself talking about your thoughts and feelings about the university. What kind of vibe did you get?

This video won’t get posted anywhere, but it’ll be nice to refer to back to it when time comes to pick your final college option.

Tip: Teens: Take a photo of yourself and post it on your social media. Tag the university and say “thank you!”.

You can also do multiple posts (limit to 5) about different aspects of your college tour and discoveries. Tag the university and it could count as a part of your Demonstrated Interest!



Go Over Your Notes: Set aside time after your post-tour tour to reflect on your experiences, compare different campuses, and consider how each aligns with your expectations and preferences.

Taking a post-tour tour helps you go beyond the scripted tour and figure out if you can connect to the campus and community, so don’t take it lightly.

Enjoy the experience, try the food, check out the events, and get a feel for campus’ vibe.

Happy touring and talk soon!


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