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Can’t Visit? Advice If You Can’t Tour Campus

Don't fret! Kai gives advice to prospective students who can't make it to campus.

Don't fret! Kai gives advice to prospective students who can't make it to campus.

I’m sure I’m not the only one. I chose to come to Carleton, despite never really visiting campus before. (Disclaimer: unless that visit at age one counts, when infant Kai found Carleton’s campus so overwhelmingly beautiful that he cried and cried as Mom frantically tried to console him.)

In all seriousness, not visiting Carleton or my other options made it a daunting decision. That said, going into my second year since traveling halfway across the country to an unfamiliar campus–and amid a global pandemic!–I know my research (and decision) paid off. So for those of you who also can’t visit, what are some good ways to research and help you make a decision?

School newspapers: unfiltered insights into student life

The latest issue of The Carletonian, featuring the 4-0 football team, updated mask policy, and the Cookie House’s upcoming renovation!

One way to get to know a school is through the school newspaper. I definitely got to know a bit more about Carleton by looking through The Carletonian. Our paper gives an authentic view of everyday campus life by giving the latest news, rumblings, debates, and humor.

Social Media: official and unofficial accounts 

The world lives on social media, so colleges have also beefed up their social media game. There’s the official Carleton College account, with all of the artsy pics of campus and takeovers by current students. Different offices, like the Office of Intercultural Life and the Student Activities Office, have their own accounts featuring what they do.

For athletics, there’s the general Carleton Knights accounts that give game day updates and celebrate individual and team achievements, among other things. Each sports team also has an account with its own flavor (ex. Carleton Tennis didn’t just sweep the National Championship in singles and doubles last year–their account is hilarious).

Not to mention, there’s an unofficial Carleton account on everything. An account for drinking fountain reviews? Funny comics? Sleeping carls? Check, check, check.

Reach out to a current Carl!

Whether a current student, professor, coaches, or admissions officer, we are all friendly people (that’s the #1 reason I love Carleton). We all want to talk with y’all and are more than happy to answer your questions. Seriously, you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out! I enjoy getting in touch with prospective students and helping out. Just for y’all, here is my email, which is also linked in my bio:

The COVID effect:

A positive that has come out of the pandemic is that many admissions offices are catering more towards students who cannot visit campus. Visiting is great, but not everyone can. Carleton understands especially since students come from all 50 states and ~50 countries across the world. So what has Carleton done to make it more accessible? Take the really cool virtual tour that gives you a glimpse of campus, or attend a virtual information session. And speaking of admissions…

The Admissions Blog!

Of course, I couldn’t write a post without plugging the Admissions Blog. It was one of my top resources and helped me decide on Carleton. If you want to learn more about Carleton, you’re bound to find anything you could want to know by searching the blog (or the newspaper). And if not, that’s why I linked my email above, and here again!

Kai is entering his second year at Carleton; though born in the Twin Cities, he lived in Kobe, Japan for a year, moved to New York City halfway through high school, and now calls Northfield home (plus Charlottesville, Virginia, his hometown). In true liberal arts student fashion, he’s interested in anything from American Studies to Economics to Psychology; hopefully, double minoring in Japanese and Music Performance. He enjoys walks around Lyman Lakes/in the Arb, seeing friends at Sayles, playing piano at Weitz, and pitching/playing infield for the baseball team. Meet the other bloggers!