Approaching my second year of community college, I will be applying to universities and deciding where I will be getting my degree and living for the next two years of my life. One of my community college friends convinced me it would be a wise decision to visit some of the colleges we are thinking about attending.  So, this weekend, for the first time in my life, I went “college touring.” I found this experience to be very eye opening in my decision because, even though before this “tour” I was pretty set on going to UC Davis, I now have some thinking to do.  We went to three colleges around California: UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, and CSU Sacramento and while visiting I learned why visiting colleges is actually important.

These three colleges we visited are all fairly close to where I live, so I have heard opinions from people who go there or have visited themselves, and I had also done what I thought was a fair amount of research about each university. What I found while visiting is that this information from the internet and others does not give an accurate depiction of these colleges. All of the colleges had a significantly different feel then what their websites portray and from how I imagined them in my head. For example, a quick description of UCSC I heard was that “the campus is kind of spread out, but it is beautiful.”  While this description is accurate, if I had never visited I would have never known how VERY spread out and large this campus is, and would have never understood just how incredibly beautiful it is.

In conclusion, do not let the internet and other’s opinions make your final decision for you. My opinions on these universities changed drastically after visiting and I’m afraid I might have ended up somewhere I would not want to live, if I had never visited. So, while choosing a college to suit your academic reasons is very important, that should not be your sole reason for deciding to go to a certain college. This is where you will be living for the next four years! It is a huge chunk of your life, so you better visit, get your own personal opinions, and make sure you’re going to like it.