Inside: How to Plan Summer College Tours for High School Students.

College is such an invigorating part of life. It represents the next big step in your child’s educational journey, one that is both terrifying and exciting. These are the years that they will learn about who they are as individuals.

High school laid the groundwork, and college helps to build from that foundation.

The college experience doesn’t just start once you are on campus; it’s everything from visiting college tours to choosing a place, to see your dorm. The little things are adding up to your teen’s departure matter, so today, I wanted to give you some advice. Not just what to wear on a college tour, but how to WIN at it all.

Best summer college tours for high school students: tips and tricks

Before you get into the attending college portion of this life event, you sort of need to pick a college first. Yep, you have many college tours in your future. I am going to walk you through how to plan them & my top tips for exploring campuses.

Summer College Tours for High School Students: How to Choose

This is a highly personal decision that your teen gets to make for themselves. Which college they go to will directly impact their future, so I understand how hard of a decision this is. So, I thought I would give you some prompts that you can ask your teen to help steer them in the right direction. Remember that you can choose many college tours, so don’t panic too hard yet.

1. What career could they see themselves pursuing? – This is a wonderful question to ask because it will get you on the same page as your child. If they have a clear direction, like being a doctor, then that gives you some key information to work with when you are deciding on what college to choose from.

2. How Far Do You Want To Be From Home? – If your child would feel more comfortable being closer to home, that is okay. There are plenty of great options for colleges at every spot in the U.S., so if they don’t want to be an 8-hour plane ride away, you can totally work with that.

3. Do They Have Any Pre-Chosen Schools? – This one might surprise you. Many teens have already thought about these questions themselves, and they already know their answers. Instead of just diving in and throwing ideas at them, give them the opportunity to show you that they already know what they are doing.

Bonus Tip: If your teen does not know what they want to pursue yet, that is completely okay. You can help pick which college tours to go on based on different things, like location and how your teen feels about the school. Sometimes they just know. Remember that they already feel plenty of pressure and guilt for not knowing what they want to do; they need you to be there for them.

They are young; the world is not going to end because they don’t have a path yet. When I was young, I always said, ‘how can I be expected to make an educated decision when I haven’t even been educated yet?’. There is some truth to this. So help them pick a school that is overall a strong choice, and they will be good to go.

Tips for Exploring Campus: Photo of student standing next to campus directory

Tips for Exploring Campus

Now that you have chosen a handful of schools to visit, I can get into the fun part: How to have the best experience on summer college tours for high school students! Once you get there, it can be a little overwhelming, so here are my tips on how to make the most of it.

1. Dress Profession AND Comfy – I know this seems like an oxymoron, but there are ways to do it. The fact of the matter is, you are going to be walking around all day, so you want to be comfy. You may also be meeting important people, so it’s equally important to be presentable. If you need help, check out this article on the best things you can wear to a college tour.

2. Bring a Notebook – You are going to be taking in a lot of information very quickly, so it may be hard to retain it all. Taking a small notebook with you to be able to take notes on the important stuff will come in handy later. This is especially true if you are planning on attending multiple tours. This way, you can use your notes to make a pro-con list later.

3. Ask Questions – This one goes for both your teen and you. They might be too busy taking it all in to ask any questions they might have, so feel free to step in there to get clarification on anything you may be wondering yourself. Your questions could end up being super helpful later on.

4. Stay for a little After the Tour – The tour will be quick-paced most of the time, so I recommend sticking around after to walk everything yourself. This will give your teen the opportunity to really envision if they could see themselves living and learning in this environment. You would be surprised by how intuitive teens can be.

Bonus tips: Find the best coffee. Photo of coffee cart

Bonus Tips

Here I have a few things that you can do to make your trip extra special. These are not super important, but they are a good time, so I wanted to add them to my list.

1. Find the Best Coffee – Now, this one doesn’t have to be coffee; it can be any stand that serves yummy drinks. Take your time after your tour to try out the different places around the campus to see which one is the best. This is a fun and unique way to explore your campus; I got the idea from one of my favorite shows: Gilmore Girls.

2. Spend Some Time Reading In the Library – This will help give your teen the full experience of spending time at the college. From the library, they will get to see the many different students, get a feel for the atmosphere, and feel like they already belong.

3. Pick A Favorite Spot – If, by the end of this tour, they are already dead set on going to this school, then spend some time walking around afterward. Try and find a private little spot where you two can sit down at. This spot will henceforth be known as your teen’s spot.

summer college tours for high school students

Summer College Tours for High School Students: Conclusion

I know there is a lot to think about when planning your college tours, so I hope this gave you some direction. This is such a monumental moment in your child’s life, but also your own. You did it; you got them there safely, and your baby is all grown up and flying from the nest. We can cry about it together, bring it in.

As bittersweet as this is, I think it is also something you should be extremely proud of. Be excited for your child; now, you get to watch as they continue to grow and flourish in life.

If you are interested in some more college tips for teens, I have a few other articles I think you would seriously like. Take a look at these now, and remember…your teen is going to college; this is AMAZING!