How to plan the perfect college roadtrip

College visits can be a deciding factor in picking a school to attend, and spring break is the perfect time to do it. Visiting a college is most helpful to you when class is in session because you can soak in the full atmosphere of the campus.

  First and foremost, be sure to schedule a visit with your desired colleges. There would be nothing worse than to show up expecting a tour of your possible dream school, but  no one is waiting for you. Schedule a visit so that they can expect you, and you may even get some insider information from current students that may influence your decision. Scheduling will also help you prioritize the schools you most want to see, especially if they are out of state.

  When selecting colleges you want to visit, be sure to factor in things like travel time and rest stops. Don’t schedule visits back to back, especially if the schools are far apart. Sure, a school may only be seven hours away, but a drive that long will require rest stops. This combined with traffic delays may increase traveling time significantly. Presentations may also run longer than expected, which may make you late to another visit if you have one scheduled. You don’t want to feel rushed, as this may take away from your overall experience.

  Making a game plan before you leave will be really helpful. Lay out your trip in a logical order on a map beforehand, that way your trip goes much smoother. Also, read over your directions before you leave, as this may prevent some wrong turns. If you’re going somewhere that is prime for sightseeing, factor in some time for that as well. It may be fun to check around for any famous landmarks before you leave to, and add that to your itinerary. Finally, before you leave, pick one restaurant that everyone coming with you wants to go to; maybe it’s a site where your favorite movie was filmed, or maybe the food just sounds really good.

  Sometimes road trips can be dull, long, and boring, but fear not. With the aid of your favorite tunes and some games, you can keep yourself entertained for the majority of the trip. Bring along your siblings or a close friend to talk to. They may even help you remember some things about the college that you may not have.

  While you are on a college visit, try to wear something a little nicer than sweats; you want to make sure you present yourself well. You could also wear some Darby gear to advertise where you came from.

  As soon as you get to a school, be sure to notice everything. Picture yourself living in the dorms- if you can’t, that may be a sign that school may not be for you. Visit the buildings that are for your intended major, as these will be your home for the next few years. If you can, sit in on a class that you would be taking there and meet with the professors in your department.Take note of what the current students are like, as these may be your future peers one day. The more people you can get to know, the better.    

  Be sure to take a few notes along the way so you can reference them when your return home to make some decisions. Even seemingly trivial things, such as the smell of a place, may influence your final college decision. Write them in a notebook, that way the people running the tour don’t think you are on your phone for no reason. You could always transfer the notes to your phone later. These notes can help you remember what you felt and thought about the school and its students.

  You should also bring some other things with you besides a notebook. Bring some extra money for fun college gear like sweatshirts, or just for memorabilia from the city you’re in. Typically, colleges give you discounts at their bookstores because you came out for a visit.

  Wherever you decide to go, make sure you just have fun and don’t make it a stressful trip. This is your time to decide what you’re going to do with your future. Have fun with it.

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