Picking the right school with college visits

Ally Strehlke '22, Staff Writer

Graduating high school leads many students to a new adventure: college. 

Going from being seniors and ruling the school to freshman who have no idea what to do can be intimidating, but choosing the right school can ease the transition, and college visits can help to do just that, according to students and faculty here at South. 

Hayden Barry `21 says college visits have many benefits when choosing a school, especially in the social aspect. 

“There’s a lot about a college that you get by being on campus,” Barry said. “I usually walk around without my parents and I can see the students on campus interacting with each other, and sometimes they’ll even talk to me.”

Barry said being on campus gives her a more accurate picture than statistics can, and visiting speaks to the culture of the school. 

“It lets me see what kind of people go to that school, which is really important to me,” Barry said. “I have the opportunity to go out of state, and I want to meet new people.”

Barry has visited 16 schools so far, but has interests in more. She plans to visit Princeton again, Johns Hopkins, University of Chicago and Northwestern. 

“I’m a swimmer, so part of my decision of where I want to apply is if I’ll be able to swim on their team, so there are definitely reach schools,” Barry said. “Reach schools in both academics and swimming, and then there are some I’m more in the range for.”

Elizabeth Naporano, who works in the Career Resource Center, says students visiting colleges allows them to see what it would be like to attend that school. 

“Students can see what the school is really like, which is different than reading about it online,” Naporano said. “It’s really important to take time to visit schools.”

Naporano says students at South tend to visit many of the same schools, as well as apply to many of the same schools. 

“Many students visit University of Michigan, Michigan State, Dayton, Miami of Ohio and Western Michigan,” Naporano said.

Anna Brieden `20 said that as well as getting a real-life experience of what that college is like, visitors can also start to learn their way around and imagine what life would be like there. 

“You can see where things are in relation to dorms, classrooms, the town surrounding,” Brieden said. “It’s a lot different than an online picture tour.”

Brieden said she has visited six colleges so far, and is applying to University of Michigan, Brown University, University of Illinois, Purdue and Michigan State.

“I’ll probably visit all the schools I’m accepted to, to help me decide,” Brieden said. “Visiting definitely gave me an accurate picture of what that college would be like.”