Touring college: An inside look


Even if you are a junior and don’t exactly know what you want to do with the rest of your life, it is till worth it to tour colleges.

Junior year rolls around and students are suddenly flooded with haunting thoughts of the future. Daily, they receive countless emails, letters, and phone calls from colleges, trying to recruit them to their school. It is nearly impossible to keep all of this in order on top of student’s already packed schedules. A majority of these students can’t even decide what to eat for breakfast, let alone make a decision as huge as which college to go to. As an indecisive junior myself, I do not want to make the mistake of choosing the wrong college, thus, I plan to tour each college that I am interested in, in order to see if I will fit in at the campus.

This past weekend, I embarked on my first college tour. A former New Berlin West graduate, Brittany Kozlowski, was gracious enough to take me under her wing for two days and show me the ins and outs of the college life. Brittany is currently a freshman at St. Norbert’s college, is a member of both the cross-country and the track and field team, and is majoring in Biology. Considering I am looking at running in college and majoring in something that has to do with biology, she was the perfect fit.

It is only natural that I began my college visit by getting lost on the campus. Fortunately, Brittany had spotted my car and directed me to the right place. I bid adieu to my parents and with minimal struggle and dragged my bags to Brittany’s dorm. My accommodations were top-notch as I was allowed my very own futon as well as refrigerator and television access.

My entire visit was essentially a game of follow the leader, in which I of course was the lost puppy in need of guidance. Brittany and I walked around the campus as she showed me numerous prominent buildings on campus, my favorite being the thinking lounge. The city was just a hop, skip, and a jump away, so we also walked there for a bite to eat. Although Brittany does not look both ways before crossing the road and was nearly hit by a car, her sense of direction on campus was spot on.

The campus was pretty empty as most of the students were still on spring break; however, she did introduce me to some of her teammates. At first I felt slightly uncomfortable walking into other people’s dorms, but most of them made me feel welcome once they learned that I wasn’t a creeper. My new name became recruit, in order to distinguish my purpose for being on campus. It was extremely refreshing meeting all of the new people, as I have seen so many of your beautiful New Berlin faces for so long.

The remainder of the day consisted of a trip to the cafeteria, where I will be spending most of my time when I am in college, the library, where we actually studied, and more random dorms. Throughout all of this, Brittany failed to mention that we would be attending a 6am practice the next morning.

The 5:30am alarm was far from soothing. I clawed myself off of the futon and somehow managed to put on all of my running gear. Was this what it was going to be like every morning if I decided to run in college? Luckily they only have 6am practice twice a week. Once I could keep my eyes open for more than a few seconds, I began to enjoy myself. I truly love being a part of a team, even if it means that I have to get up at the crack of dawn to practice with them.

Fortunately for me, the coach takes it easy on recruits, and Brittany and I got to go for a 4 mile run outside while the others ran intervals indoors. There are few things that I love in life more than a nice run in the cold; however, the fast pace Brittany maintained took away some of the enjoyment. Nonetheless, it was a good workout, and we returned to the team before 7am.

After breakfast, Brittany and I parted ways. While she was in class, I was able to take a nap. I then attended a theology class with one of Brittany’s teammates. The professor may have been slightly insane, but he was definitely entertaining. The class size was not much bigger than what we would expect to see at a high school; yet, the classroom was much nicer, set up in a theatre style. I also went to Brittany’s Biology 101 class, which was much larger and located in a lecture hall.

We then went to Coach Don’s office where Brittany logged her grades. My mother arrived and we got to sit and chat with the coach for a while. He seemed like a very passionate, and energetic individual who puts a ton of time and effort in to the program, and I would love to have him as a coach.

Although I am not certain whether or not St. Norbert’s college is the right fit for me, the experience that I received by touring there is invaluable. I have now solidified that I would like to attend a smaller college, where I can run and be a part of a team. The tour gave me a sense of direction as I continue my long college search process that will certainly be filled with tons of research and many more college tours.