You’ve probably heard it before from a guidance counselor, parent, or experienced sibling: “You need to visit a college in order to really have an idea if it’s the right one for you.” This advice is one of the most valuable clichés of the college search process. Some students do not embrace the college visit, but those who do will undoubtedly benefit from their trial experiences on different campuses. Even if you sleep for 1/3 of the events at whichever college you visit, you’ll still have a mental framework of the school’s appearance and the people you meet there.
If you’re like many students who enroll at UMBC then you may have spent the majority of your pre-collegiate years at home. One of my fellow counselors, the venerable Danielle Jolly, often reminds students that college may be your first opportunity (or second, if you’re a transfer student) to live or at least spend hours of your time away from home, and how many students already hold the responsibility or freedom to decide where they live prior to college?
For many of you, college, the place where you’ll suddenly be spending most of your time, represents an initial opportunity to learn where you want to be. This freedom should be fairly obvious but its implication is sometimes lost in the drone of college search clichés. The bottom line here is that no one should ever move into a new home without first visiting it, ideally multiple times!
I recently moved into Baltimore, and if I rented the first apartment that sounded nice on some website without first visiting it, I’d probably be stuck in a basement with fluorescent orange paint (the online listing did not mention the fluorescence). You do not want your new home to be your relative equivalent to that musty basement.
If UMBC is going to be the right choice for your next place of residence and education, you owe it to yourself to visit us (and your other target schools). We have a few comprehensive Visit Days this coming fall for freshmen and transfer students. Information is on our website and you can click the link above to sign up for the appropriate day. I look forward to meeting you and leading you away from any potentially musty basements…