Top Ten Things Not to Do On College Campus Visits

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

This post was published on June 13th, 2016. However, I think there still might be advice worth repeating.

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It is time for those beautiful college tours for the children going into their senior year of high school. This list has inspiration from a foggy memory of such visits fifteen years ago. I hope you enjoy it.

10 If you are visiting a college, do not stop in the bookstore first. If you do, at best, you will be overwhelmed by the assortment. At worst, you will buy a bunch of stuff only to learn that your child “hates this place.” (Well, it figures, doesn’t it? Waldo.)

9 If you are visiting a college, do not wear clothing from another school. If you do, at best, the personnel will think you haven’t a clue. At worst, your shirt will distract the student guide, and they will forget half of what you wanted to know. (You could have picked a non-rival, right?)

8 If you are visiting a college, do not feed the mascot. If you do, at best, the guard will ask you to leave. At worst, that cookie you just tossed the bear is the only thing on the planet to which it has an allergy. (There’s nothing like CPR on a sweating, hairy monster with the lousy breath, huh, Pilgrim?)

7 If you are visiting a college, do not interrupt the tour guide. If you do, at best, they will forget where they were and will have to start from the beginning. At worst, your tour guide is a fragile human being who was encouraged to lead tours as a method of building self-confidence and is now in a pool of tears trying to survive a complete meltdown. (Well, you could have waited until the recording was over)

6 If you are visiting a college, do not make fun of tradition. If you do at best, you will see some severe frowns. At worst, the massive varsity football player who just got drafted by the Oakland Raiders will want to talk to you in private. (So what does it hurt not to snicker when everyone says, “Howdy” to you.)

5 If you are visiting a college, do not go to one where your child has zero chance of being accepted. If you do, at best, they will suddenly see what they will be missing. At worst, they will decide that this is the college for them and none other will do. (Now, this is a fine kettle of fish we’ve gotten ourselves into, Laurel)

4 If you are visiting a college, do not just visit those with big-time sports teams. If you do, at best, some good schools can be overlooked. At worst, maybe your child has no interest in sports, and you’ll realize too late that they are here because you want to be here. (You already went to school. Give it up, Bucky)

3 If you are visiting a college, do not engage your tour guide in a discussion about tuition. If you do, at best, they will direct you to the provost’s office. At worst, you will be bringing new information to a student tour guide who will become increasingly concerned about the cost enough to get a job and flunk out. ( Never saw that one coming, did ya? Bud.)

2 If you are visiting a college, do not think acceptance will be automatic. If you do, at best, you will start to make plans that won’t materialize. At worst, you might just give the impression to everyone you meet that you think the entrance is a slam dunk, and there are more than enough who will want to thwart that view. (What a surprise on rejection letter day.)

1 If you are visiting a college, do not talk about your college experiences. If you do, at best, the students will think you have never grown up. At worst, your child will want to find a deep hole and a dump truck and guess who is the cargo. (None of those kids are interested in ancient history pops unless it is a required course, and maybe not even then)

68 comments

  1. Sound advice, John! You didn’t happen to feed the Baylor Bear, did you? 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No. They were sound asleep when we were there. 😁 Thanks, Joan

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Whew! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good list, John. I am so glad those days are in the rear view mirror.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. John, I never visited my college. When I learned it was in a city known as the ‘screw capital’, that was good enough for me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I can relate to that for sure. Thanks, Steve.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. But as far as being a dumb dad on a trip with my daughter, we visited a small school where I introduced her to the Dean as my wife. He didn’t seem phased but, after all, it was in a town in West Virginia. That was 24 years ago snd I’m still reminded when it’s ‘pick on dad’ time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Must have been an inside joke or too much moonshine. Pick on dad is one of those things that last forever.

        Like

  4. I’d be terrified in the bookstore. Textbook prices were insane when I went and they’ve only gotten worse.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. I always bought used. 😊

      Like

  5. I can’t remember anyone making a college visit in my time. Of course, we all stayed mostly within the state, at least to begin, and already had been on all the campuses. The thought of flying to another state or states to compare and contrast never crossed our minds.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We were looking at colleges with equestrian programs so that quest took us all over the place. Pretty much the four corners of the compass. Settled at Baylor and were so glad we did.

      Like

  6. Good ones, John. It’s also a good idea not to snicker when the Admissions Officer talks about how tough college life will be for your child. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good one, Tim

      Liked by 1 person

  7. From the offspring’s perspective, probably #1 is the worst–although I’m still trying to picture giving CPR to a bear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha. You have to do it very carefully. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Makes me feel old. We have a granddaughter heading off to college soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just had one graduate from college. Talk about old.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I wonder what the Mountaineer would prefer to eat? Good list, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Big cheeseburger. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  10. These are very wise suggestions, John. I was guilty of #7, and broke rule #5 when we visited UCLA, USC, Berkeley, and Stanford. Out-of-state acceptance rates eliminated UCLA and Berkeley and high standards, Stanford. USC worked out but only for a January admission – and then there was the cost of flying coast to coast. Maybe that should be another number – calculate how much ti’s going to cost going back and forth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that coast to coast stuff is not a good idea. Thanks, Noelle.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Seems like we just did college tours, but the youngest graduated last year. Where does the time go?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like the wind, Teri. Where ever it goes it goes fast.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. These are excellent, John! I know Domer and I both cringed when some other parent (thankfully, not me!) violated #1. Gee, the poor kid looked awful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can imagine. Some parents are large doofases

      Liked by 1 person

  13. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    All great advice. I found the campus I liked, but my daughter had other ideas 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That happens too.

      Like

  14. This is such an American ritual. We don’t do that whole visiting colleges thing at all. At least not in my circle. Rare were the people I knew who went out of province to study. Most just settled on one of the English or French options we have here in Montreal. Some might have gone to other colleges a little further, but usually, within the same province.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We went to ten. Only three were in Texas. Daughter did settle on a Texas school though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Crazy!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know right? We were looking for an equestrian program that would fit daughter’s ability.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well that is different. If there was a specific programme not offered everywhere, that’s understandable!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Excellent advice, John. I might add, wear comfortable shoes, especially while on large campuses such as the University of Illinois which has three huge quads and stretches almost a good half-mile in all directions. Trudge, trudge, trudge.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good point, Ron. I think most universities have a trudge factor

      Like

  16. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    Hilarious, John. It sounds like you’ve been to a few of these. A thirty-minute walk-through can become two hours with the wrong parents. 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I know. There were times I was glad 1. I was sober 2. Didn’t have a gun. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Great list, John, and it brings back memories. I’m glad those days are in the past though. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Me too, Lauren.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi John, this post made me laugh, especially your comments about parents not mentioning their college days. When my husband and I took Gregory to register for Uni in January this year, my husband proceeded to tell the security guard with great pride that he’d attended this same Uni 30 years before and that he knew where to go and blah, blah, blah. It was mortifying. 30 years ago!!!! I had to pretend I was Greg’s sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great story, Robbie. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  19. You have a good memory (or is it Tiny?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha. Might be Tiny.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Three of my grandnephews had to go through this. Ugh. I think you’d have to be 17, 18 years old to get through it 😉 Great list, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing, Michael

      Like

  21. Very good advices, John! Thanks God this is over. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Michael

      Like

  22. Oh, how I remember those days of visiting the campuses. It was a little overwhelming. 🙂 Great list!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jan.

      Like

  23. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    I’m relieved that we don’t have to face this question anymore. The whole time we’re listening to the tour guide, I’m thinking, “And how are we going to pay for this?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A very common question, Pete. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  24. The internet does not seem to have made much of a dent in this market. One does not hear much of a new-age CCVFH (College Campus Visit From Home).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha ha. Good one Ankur.

      Like

  25. Amidst all the humor, you have some serious tips here. Number 5 and number 2 are great ideas. What an experience though. When I toured with my daughter, I think I wanted to go to college again more than she wanted to go the first time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too. 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  26. This was hilarious, John. Our son wanted to do his college tours alone because of all the ‘stupid questions’ parents asked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha. I think he had the right idea, Jennie. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, he did!

        Liked by 1 person

  27. […] Top Ten Things Not to Do On College Campus Visits […]

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  28. LOL!
    “ancient history pops ”
    😂👨‍🎓

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. I like that line too. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I’m with you as far as mascots and school traditions are concerned. It really is best to play keep away.

    Liked by 2 people

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