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Should I Go on a College Visit with My Parents, with My Friends, or on My Own?

Information adapted from adMISSION POSSIBLE®.

There are pros and cons for each, so you (and your parents) should decide what makes the most sense for you.

Parents

If you go with your parents, they’re likely to take care of all the hassles—transportation, where to stay, parking, paying, etc. If you get along with your parents, you’re likely to enjoy sharing college trips with them. Your parents may also have some important questions regarding financing or financial aid that you might not ask.

If you’re afraid your parents will be “too visible” during tours, information sessions, etc., you may not want them with you.

If you do decide to go on a college visit with your parents, you should sit down and talk about what expectations you each have and what you want to do on your own. If there are questions you want to ask that are too awkward to ask in front of your parents (sexual health and safety or alcohol, for example), make sure that you have some time on your own to find out the answers.

Friends

If you’re compatible with a few friends and you have traveled together before, or have similar traveling styles, you might want to try going on a college visit together.

Going on a college visit with friends can be a lot of fun, but you need to remember that it’s a college visit and not a vacation. You have things to accomplish on your visit.

Before you go on a college visit with your friends, you should sit down together and talk about expectations. You should decide what you want to do while you’re on campus and how much time you want to spend on campus. You should decide whether you will spend all your time together or split up and explore your own things before meeting up and talking about what you learned. You should also decide what you’ll do during the evenings if you will be staying overnight.

It’s important to plan these things in advance, so you don’t waste time on decisions or arguments during your visit.

On Your Own

You might prefer to visit a college on your own, especially if you’re used to traveling and doing things on your own. One good thing about visiting a college on your own is that you don’t have to make any compromises.

If you’ve never traveled on your own, and the college is far away or requires an overnight stay in a hotel, you may want to reconsider travelling with friends or family.

And just because you travel alone doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Before you go, you can plan to meet up with friends, friends of your family, friends of friends, former students from your high school, or people your meet through the Admissions Office. If you are spending the night and call the Admissions Office well in advance, they may even be able to connect you with a student host for the night.