College Tour Essentials

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tour groups are in full swing here at Clemson, something I've noticed walking to class or around campus. It feels like just yesterday that I was touring colleges and trying to figure out where to go yet also like that I have been a Clemson student forever.

Anyways, I figured I would share some of the items that I found while I was touring colleges. My high school did college tours for us each spring so I had a lot of experience touring school (I wound up touring like 25 before making my decision). I know fall is a time where you start thinking of doing various college tours as seniors are applying to various colleges and juniors feel like college is a lot closer in their future.

Comfortable Shoes- At most schools, you'll do a lot of walking (just prepping y'all for college haha) and comfortable shoes make this so much easier. After all, you don't want to remember a school from blisters from your shoes or how uncomfortable it was walking around campus.

A Pen- Whether you want to jot down some notes or fill out an information card for the admissions office, it's super helpful to keep a pen in your bag. Definitely something small but so helpful!

A Tote Bag- I've always loved bigger bags as I'm Type A and they give me room to bring everything I could possibly need with me but they are especially helpful for college tours as you can fit all the items you need for the day as well as any items the college may give you. I know Clemson gives you a folder with a few flyers so it's nice to be able to put that into your bag and not have to carry it around the whole tour.

A Water Bottle- Like I said earlier, you're probably going to be doing a lot of walking so you'll want to bring a water bottle for your tour (especially if it's still hot out). Plus, a lot of schools have water bottle fillers to use throughout campus.

Sunglasses- Definitely not something you need, but something that will help your tour go a lot more smoothly. I usually don't leave the house without my sunglasses but I definitely recommend bringing them along on a college tour.

Something to take Notes with- Whether this is your phone, your agenda, or a notebook, you'll want to take notes during or after your tour. At a lot of schools, you'll go to an information session before your tour and it's helpful to write down a few key points (GPA/SAT/ACT requirements, deadlines for admissions, acceptance rate, etc.). I would also write down any questions and email those to your admissions counselor later.

After your tour, I recommend writing notes on what you liked or didn't liked about your tour or the campus. I found this really helpful early on in the early search process as it helped me decide what I wanted (and didn't want) in my future college.

An Outfit with Layers- Right now in South Carolina, it will be chilly in the morning but roasting in the afternoon. Layers are so important as you'll be able to adjust your outfit to what the weather is like throughout the day. My go-to was a dress with a cardigan and sandals or jeans and a top with a cardigan (like in the picture above, which was taken January of my junior year).

An Umbrella- As much as we would all love every college tour to be perfectly sunny, it does rain so it's helpful to be prepared for that. I usually keep an umbrella in my car so if you're heading out on a college tour, throw one into your car just in case!

If you're looking for more blog posts related to the college application process, be sure to read the following posts: College Tours: The Questions to Ask (one of my most popular blog posts to this day!) ⎢Tips for Starting the College Search Process ⎢The Big Announcement! ⎢My College Application Experience ⎢Things to Do Before School Begins to Prepare for the College Application Process

What are some of your college tour essentials? Let me know in the comments!

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