How to Make the Most of Admitted Student Day


Today will mark my third year volunteering for Admitted Student Day at Occidental. As a veteran of the event, I’d like to share a few things that I hope will help you navigate this crazy, awesome, busy day–so without further ado, here are my top five tips for making the most of your ‘Experience Oxy!’ visit:

1.) Talk to as many students as possible. This is not a day to be shy. You will be interacting with people who could very well be your future classmates, so it’s important to make sure you enjoy being around them. Talk to the people here whenever you get the chance: in the classes you visit, on the quad, during lunch, etc. Most students here really enjoy talking to prospective students about the school and would love to have a conversation with you. Don’t be afraid to ask them the hard-hitting questions either. It’s better to find out the truth now while you’re still deciding than to discover something unpleasant after you’ve already committed.

2.) Try to not be embarrassed by your family. I know you want to seem cool and independent in front of everyone, but completely distancing yourself from your family tends to do more harm than good. There are different schedules for families and students during Admitted Student Day, so you will have some time to experience the college on your own. When you are with your family though, it’ll make your experience much more bearable if you avoid any unnecessary tension and embarrassment.

3.) Take photos and notes. In most cases, Admitted Student Day is the most immersive college experience you’ll have before you commit to a school. If you want to make an informed decision, you’ll want to be sure to remember as much of this day as possible. To help with this, the Office of Admission supplies every visiting student with a notepad and pen at check-in. Make good use of these by recording thoughts, feelings, and observations you have during the day, as well as any useful information that you come across. I also recommend snapping some photos of the school during your visit. They will help jog your memory when you’re choosing where you want to spend the next four years of your life.

4.) Attend all of the events on the schedule.  The itinerary of Admitted Student Day is set up to allow you to see a lot of the college in a short amount of time.  The more items on the schedule you attend, the more sides of the college you’ll see and the more holistic your experience will be. If you can only come to some of the events, I would especially recommend trying to make it to at least one classroom visit, one campus tour, and the catered lunch in the quad.

5.) Search for a positive feeling. This is the most important piece of advice on my list. It is also the most difficult to describe. When visiting a college, you might experience a certain feeling that says "this is the right place." If you feel something like that, great! If you feel the opposite, that’s ok too! If you can’t tell how you feel, try asking yourself questions like "can I imagine myself walking among these students?" Bottom line: go with your intuition. If the school feels right, it’s probably right—though keep in mind that some schools may feel more right than others.

I hope these tips come in handy when you come for Admitted Student Day. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at jchilds@oxy.edu