The Telling College Overnight Visit

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The Telling College Overnight Visit

The Telling College Overnight Visit

Of the many variables that go into making that final college decision, the overnight is one with lots of predictive power.

The overnight provides a fairly clear example of what a typical day would look like at College X. It is then up to the student to determine if he/she can envision four years there.  It is more real in a sense, as it comes without the script or messaging of the Admissions department.

I would encourage high school students who have the opportunity to do an overnight to take advantage of the option.

Between cross country and the honors program, I have probably hosted eight or so students during my time at Roberts.

When we have a recruit/overnight guest we typically will have him eat dinner with the team, then drop him off with a subset of the team who happens to have a less demanding homework regimen that night. Later in the night, we will do a team activity like pickup basketball or ultimate Frisbee. When I am hosting, I tend to stay up later than usual and talk with him about running, about other schools he is looking at, and about the culture of a Christian college.

Advice to college students hosting- Give a fair portrayal of what a typical night at school is like. Show what life at school IS like, not what life at school IS NOT like.

I remember a recruit that was disappointed that our team does not party, and decided to go somewhere else. While he was a good runner and would have helped our team, he would not be a good fit for the school. Thus it is probably better that he found a different school to go to. (His overnight was successful for him in the sense that it gave him an answer.)

I have also heard of teams who take their recruits out and get them totally wasted. While I do not condone this behavior as it goes against what is taught in Scripture, not to mention it is illegal, it probably gives the student a fair portrayal of what a typical night at that college is like. Then he/she can decide – do I want to be getting sloshed three nights per/week?

Advice to High School students visiting- Try to envision if this could be you on a day-to-day basis. Give it a fair shot, even if it is not top on your list. Be aware of any potential red flags. Get a sense of if you mix well with the students (especially the freshmen and sophomores who you will be with for a few years.)

Also, a boring overnight is not necessarily a bad indicator about the school. The overnight may not have been that fun if the students hosting were diligently doing their homework. However that may be a good indication of the type of students that attend the school – hardworking, take academics seriously, etc.

Choosing a college is an important step so make sure to get all the information that is attainable, and strive to make a well-thought out decision.

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