Charlotte’s Philosophy on Campus Tours

As a high school junior and senior, I was reluctant to travel to different college campuses. During the car ride, I would get grumpy and come up with absurd reasons why I would never attend the school I was visiting that day. In retrospect, I realize that I was letting my nerves about the college process get in my way. I was afraid of falling in love with a school that I wouldn’t be accepted to, and therefore never attend my “dream school.”

I now know that, fear of rejection aside, college tours are a huge part of the college decision-making process for high school seniors. It is an incredible opportunity to delve deeper into the student life and academics at a university. Any college can seem either fantastic or undesirable on paper or online; it’s harder to visualize what it would be like to spend the next four years or so there. But once you see a college atmosphere for yourself, you can more realistically imagine yourself as a student there.

Many colleges have open-house days. At Rochester, those open-house days are called Research Rochester.

Charlotte in the Periodical Reading Room

During my visit to the University, I could tell that the grand atmosphere of the Hogwarts-like study halls in Rush Rhees Library would be perfect for studying. I could really imagine myself cracking open a textbook in there. And now, I really do study there with my friends all the time. It’s a dream come true!


If you find yourself feeling reluctant to go on a tour at all, then I highly recommend visiting on an admitted students’ day, at the very least! An admitted students’ day is just about picturing yourself on campus—it’s the ultimate tour. There is no stress about getting in anymore.

Regardless of when you visit, you have the chance to meet future classmates or roommates, introduce yourself to professors and advisors, try out the dining halls (you will fall in love with Douglass, as I have), ride the bus to College Town, take a peek at the freshman dorms, and ask experienced upperclassmen about academic programs and courses. The possibilities are endless!

Clock tower

The mysterious clock tower on campus


Your college years are special and transformative, so you should definitely pick a school that excites and interests you. When you tour Rochester, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this University have coursework and academic opportunities that interest me?
  • Where will my favorite study spot be?
  • Can I survive the chilly winter, after enjoying such gorgeous fall weather? Will the rewarding spring weather be worth the wait?
  • Do I feel comfortable around the current and prospective students I’ve met?
  • Am I in love with Douglass Dining Hall like Charlotte the blogger is? (This answer will be yes.)

If you are content with your answers, definitely consider the University of Rochester as your future home. 🙂 I hope you come for a tour to see if Rochester is right for you, too!

For scheduling a visit, create a MyROC account. This will also jumpstart your application process!

About the author

Charlotte Pillow

I am a member of the Class of 2019. I am originally from Ridgewood, NJ. I am a student in the Dual Degree in Nursing program. I am majoring in nursing, public health, and interdisciplinary dance studies, and minoring in psychology. I am the president of the College Diabetes Network and a research assistant at the School of Nursing. For the 2017 spring semester, I studied public health at the University of Oxford.

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