Get the most out of a college visit: advice from our alumni

The holidays are often a time when high school students and their parents visit potential colleges.
It’s an exciting time, but can be stressful too, since choosing the right college is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.

Thankfully, our recent Pinecrest alumni are here to offer advice! Below you’ll find tips which will help you navigate college visits more successfully, and hopefully choose the perfect fit.

Robert Binkley at the Georgia State University offers: If you do not feel included and excited while touring, it is a good sign that it is not a fit for you. Also, try to choose a school where you can sense, on tour, that the students and administration are friendly and easy to talk to.

Caroline Chadwick at Georgia College says: Make sure you explore the opportunities that your potential major offers at that college. Also, talk to students who already go there, and don’t be afraid to ask them personal questions, because they matter!

Loughlin Mulloy who attends Auburn University recommends: Talk to real students on campus, not just the tour guides, to get a feel for what college life is really like. Try to meet with the department head of your intended major to talk about required courses, prequisites, etc. Do research on the school and your major ahead of time, so you can have questions ready to ask during the tour!

From Brendan Ehle who is currently at Vanderbilt University: Colleges usually have one specific feature that they really like to highlight on their tours. If you know what it is, refer to  it in your essay, and it will work to your advantage.

Maddie Ettmueller who attends Georgia Southern University: When looking at colleges, ask as many questions as you need to, and do research on what you want to know about the university in question. Visit multiple times if you need to! 

Ben Meersman who attends University of Georgia offers these tips: Be sure to ask about and visit the Catholic Center on campus, as well as parishes in the area.  Inquire about the programs for your major, as well as, programs for backup majors. Take some time to walk around campus and visit the popular places (library, student center, dining halls, workout facility, etc.) Good luck!

From Jimmy Dinsmore who attends Georgia Southern University:  Be sure to soak up all the information given, and fall in love with the campus you are wanting to attend, because that will be your home for the next four years.

Therese Tormey who attends University of Georgia suggests: Spend time on campus after or before the tour. As much as I hated my parents dragging me to the schools’ dining halls, it is cool to see what they are like. So, eat on or near campus, walk around the academic buildings, see if you can see a residence hall, and ask how to get involved on campus! I wish I had asked more about what the tour guide’s experience had been like at the school, especially Freshman year.

Joseph Garcia who is a plebe at West Point recommends: Try to talk to as many students at the school as possible to get a wide variety of viewpoints on everyday student life. Also, no question is a dumb one. If you’re curious about something, ask for an answer. 

From Rachel Dougal who will be attending University of Georgia in the fall: You don’t need to go to many colleges.  Try very different schools (one city school, one classic, rolling hills campus) to get a feel of what style you like better.  Then narrow it down based on your interests, so you don’t have to waste so much money traveling.
Pinecrest Academy is a private PreK3-12 Catholic school located in Cumming, South Forsyth, just minutes from Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton and Suwanee. We serve families of all faiths seeking a Christian education for their children. To learn more about our unique educational philosophy, visit our Welcome page.

The mission of Pinecrest Academy is reflected in the word Integer, which is Latin for “whole,” or “entire,” and reflects our goal of forming the whole child as an authentic “Person in Christ.” The school motto Semper Altius, means “Always Higher,” and challenges our students, parents, staff and faculty to strive for excellence in all areas of Integral Formation® - intellectual, spiritual, human and apostolic.