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How helpful are college visits?

By Owen Bower

College is one of the biggest influences on your life as it may present you with job opportunities and friendships that last forever. College is a half-decade of memories being made each and every day and you want to make sure that those memories are never forgotten. In order to do so, you must make sure you pick the right college.
The best way to know if you are choosing the right college or not is to visit the campuses of schools you are applying to. Some people think that looking at the school website and Google searching pictures of the campus will give them an idea if the school is a good fit for them or not. In reality, it is necessary to walk around the campus and get a good feel for the size, location, weather, and if the atmosphere feels right for you to spend the upcoming years at.
Robbie Hamchuk, junior, has hopes of pursuing a baseball career at the college level. Recently, he has visited UC Irvine, University of San Francisco, and New Mexico State to meet the coaches and tour the campus.
Hamchuk agrees that visits help make the college decision process easier, “When I visit a school I get to know the coaches and what it would be like on a daily basis,” he said. Whether you are a student athlete or not, you want to have a feeling for the college and see if you can picture yourself walking through the halls and living in the dorms.
Unfortunately, some people don’t get to visit colleges because they are out of state and don’t have the money or time to fly and tour a college. Nathalie Goricanec, college and career specialist for the Campbell Union High School District, has a solution. “We are lucky enough in California to actually have all types of colleges in driving distances,” she says.
Goricanec means that you are able to see all types of colleges around the Bay Area that show similarities to schools around the country. For example, if you wanted to go to New York University, you can save lots of money by visiting the University of San Francisco since they are both located in the city.
David Han, junior, hopes to attend Columbia University to further his studies in business. When visiting colleges, Han wanted to make sure the environment near the campus is a place he can see himself. “I think the most important factor when choosing a school is the curriculum and the majors but also the environment around the school,” he said. For example if you are more of a beach person, you might look at UC San Diego or Long Beach. If you like the city more than you might think about going to University of Massachusetts or University of Chicago.