March 18, 2013

College Visit Friend on Campus

The True Value of a Friend

It’s a classic joke; someone dies and needs to choose between Heaven and Hell.  First stop is with St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.  It was peaceful, quiet, beautiful and serene with angels floating around.  Next is the obligatory tour in Hell.  Surprisingly, when greeted by the Devil, he was friendly, warm and welcoming.  People were laughing and having a great time. There was a fabulous buffet, great entertainment, and all were dancing the night away.

After considering the tours, Hell was chosen.  Upon arrival, they are greeted by the Devil… but this time the Devil grabbed them, chained them up, and pushed them toward a fiery pit below where all the others were. Confused, they turn to the Devil and ask, “What happened?  This is not how Hell looked on the tour?”  The Devil gave them an evil grin and replied, “Before we were recruiting you, now you are a student!”

The point is – you need to look beyond the formal college tour and find out what the college is really like – BEFORE making a commitment to spend the next four years of your life there. I was reminded of this recently as I ran across a student run business, InsiderVisit.

Campus tours do a good job at providing general information and the positive highlights about the college, but how about the real day to day life of a student?  Realistically, there are positive and negative aspects of all decisions.  The colleges generally only present a fairy tale image and avoid the reality of what it’s really like on campus.  The billion dollar construction project may look great, but you may never have the opportunity to use that new building; instead you may get stuck in the old dorm that needs to be torn down.  How about the truth about nightlife?  Official tour guides are generally limited as to what they can say.

You need to talk to a friend, so find one on campus.  Parents can talk to their kids all they want, but students make better selections after talking to friends on campus.  Sit down and talk to a friend that has been there for a while.  Ask your friends if they have friends. Find someone you can relate to that is not paid by the college - talk and ask a lot of questions.  

Visiting a friend who lives on campus will provide you with the personal connection that is not offered on the college provided campus tour. Friends can openly and honestly discuss topics such the meal plans, social scene, Greek life, clubs, dorms, classes, diversity, safety or anything else you care about.   

There is no excuse for not finding a friend on campus.  We found a business that provides this critical part of the college selection process. It’s called InsiderVisit, Your Friend on Campus.  InsiderVisit is a college student run business which is available at over 40 college campuses and growing. High school students (Visitors) are matched with a currently enrolled college student (Insider) with similar interests. Visits are individually designed to help high school students discover if they will be a good fit on campus. InsiderVisit is not affiliated with any college or university, so you will get the student’s true perspective on college life.

Appreciate the true value of a friend. Find one or buy one, but don’t go to campus without one. Be informed, and get a realistic view about the college of your choice.  You will avoid getting chained up and pushed into the fiery pit below.

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