Entering college for the first time can be stressful, scary and most of all, hard. With the flurry of transitioning between the halls of high school to the green campuses of college, it can be difficult to decipher if the school of your dreams is really the fantasy you originally thought. So, incoming freshman, get your checklist ready! With the help of some professionals, we figured out the five things every student should watch out for on Admitted Students Day.
1. Equal treatment of all students
It may be 2016, but (unfortunately) that doesn’t mean that inequality has vanished completely, especially on large college campuses!
“A huge red flag to look out for if you, or someone that you know or see is in the minority/diverse group in any way, is to make sure that your or their needs are being addressed and respected just as much as everyone else,” says Lori Maas, a guidance counselor at Eastwood High School in Ohio. Do everyone’s questions get answered? Is there any discrimination among the students or staff members? Making sure that everyone is treated with equal respect is huge.
Kortni Montag, a freshman at the University of Toledo, says that equal treatment goes a long way when attending an Admitted Students Day for the first time. “I think that equal treatment to all students makes individuals feel as if their education and experience matters just as much as the next person’s,” says Kortni. “That makes for a better environment in classrooms and [on] campuses in general.” Equality creates a healthy learning environment from the first day!
Inequality can be experienced for many different reasons. If you see disrespect or a certain privilege that is being given to students because of gender, race, wealth or anything in between, it can be a telltale sign that a university or college may be biased towards its students. When everyone is on the same playing field, it can become much easier to focus on education and feel more at home on campus!
2. The vibe of the student body
We get it, soon-to-be collegiettes. Coming to college for the first time can be an extremely daunting experience in itself, which is why having friendly people along the way is super important.
Although you shouldn’t base your college decision on first impressions, it is useful to sense a clear vibe when determining if the people you will be going to school with have the best intentions. Admitted Students Day will allow you to meet some of your peers!
Mimi Doe, co-founder and president of Top Tier Admissions and co-author of the book Don’t worry you’ll get in! says that it is important to make positive connections with other students on Admitted Students Day. “Especially for young women, it is really critical when selecting a college [to have] a heightened awareness of what kind of support is in their peer and supervisor groups,” she says. While it’s not a huge deal-breaker, trying to feel a connection between you and your peers early on can mean more than you might think!
Maas agrees with Doe. “It can help you make trusted friends of the same gender, as well as see who is not trustworthy," she says. "You want to make sure that the student body is open and kind. It limits bias and makes everyone feel more comfortable.”
Admitted Students Day is a great chance to see if you could fit in with the students around you. So, take advantage of getting to know other students as much as you can!
3. If the college gives back to new students
Whether a college gives back to its new students on Admitted Students Day or not does wonders to show how excited the college is about potential students.
Do they offer free food? Are they putting on awesome events? Do they give away coupons and merchandise? Whatever it is, a college that makes its environment fun and enjoyable to new students on Admitted Students Day is a college that cares about the future of its newcomers. “One sure way to show students that the college is also interested in their attendance is to offer free things that will show they care about garnering the interest of new students,” Maas says. Make sure on Admitted Students Day that your college will go the extra mile to provide gratitude and excitement to its new students for attending.
4. The resources available
When it comes to its students' successes, a college needs to contain a number of resources that are readily available to its students during their college career. On Admitted Students Day, incoming students should be made aware of these resources and how to access them.
Doe says you need your mind, body and spirit to be satisfied by the resources that should be provided by your college campus. “Mind: are their intellectual needs offered through tutoring? Body: is the health center opened to a young woman’s needs and OBGYN checkups? Are there co-ed locker rooms and are the gyms safe? Spirit: is there a place where a young woman could feel comfortable with like-minded people, and groups she can be a part of?” she asks. Making sure that all three aspects are nurtured on Admitted Students Day will prove to be a huge plus—especially when you are deciding if you will be comfortable and safe at a potential new school!
Additionally, make sure that all your safety needs are met! “Whether it's flashing blue lights and/or a campus security you can call, the university you are attending should always have safety resources easy to access in case of an emergency,” Maas says. It is super important to look for these resources on Admitted Students Day to make sure the college of your choice can provide for your most important needs.
5. Your gut feeling
Regardless of how many things have caught your attention on Admitted Student Day, nothing is more important than your natural instinct during the experience!
The reality is, if something just doesn’t feel right to you, it probably isn’t! Trusting yourself, your surroundings and your feelings when choosing the right college is valuable, and always something to be aware of when attending Admitted Students Day. “We, as women, need to honor our inner choice—it's our North Star,” Doe says. “Once you are sure that your mind, body and spirit are going to be attended to, don’t let anything hold you back and pay attention to your gut feeling. Your true north star will always guide you.”
Relying on your intuition on Admitted Student Day—above all else—can tell you if you are really where you are meant to be.
Let out that breath—we’ve broken down the five major things that you should keep your eyes peeled for on Admitted Students Day. From treating all students equally to having a friendly student body, giving back to new students, having trusted resources and relying on your natural instinct, you can feel confident that the college you chose will help you rise to the top.