Why You Should Go To a College Open House - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

Geneva College Blog

RSS Subscribe Print   

College Preparation
February 18, 2020

Why You Should Go To a College Open House

What is an open house?  

An open house is an opportunity, more than anything else, to realistically see yourself at a college before deciding if that’s where you want to spend the next four years of your life. You get to meet your future professors, future classmates, and possibly even your future friends! At a college open house, you get the chance to tour the campus, sit in on a class, eat in the dining hall, and see firsthand what college life is really like. Additionally, you’ll have a meeting with your admissions counselor and the financial aid department to help you get a better idea of what you will need to do in order to attend that college. 

If you’re a student athlete, your visit will likely include a meeting with a potential coach, staying with some members of the team, and possibly even testing out the sports facilities for yourself. This will give you a bit of one on one time with either your potential coach or the players so you can ask questions, hear stories, and get a real feel for how the athletic program truly is, and if you would be a good fit. One important thing to remember is that while you have to apply to colleges, try out for teams or audition for musical ensembles, you are also evaluating the colleges, coaches, teams and music groups to make sure they are a good fit for you, as well. If you dislike the coaches, the facilities, the classrooms, etc., don’t try to force yourself to fit in. Once you find a place where you feel like you belong, there is where you will flourish.  

It will be a busy day full of information and new experiences, which can be overwhelming, so here is what you have to do to be prepared.  

What do I do before I visit? 

Before deciding to visit a college, you should do your research. Does this college have my major of interest? Is it a big school or a small school? Private or public? Religious or secular? What state is it in? Do graduates from this college go on to be successful? These are all important aspects of your college choice that will impact your education and shape the person you will become over the next four years. You’ll want to be surrounded by people you will get along with, but also people who will challenge you to become better. 

Once you have found a handful of schools that meet your desired criteria, then you can plan a visit. Often, a college will put its best face on for an open house day; meaning that on open house or visitation days, you’re seeing the college in its best possible light. If you don’t like a college on its best day, you certainly won’t like it on its worst day. If there is a crisis on campus that causes stress or inconveniences, will you still be glad that you chose the college you did? 

For instance, during the first week of my freshman year at Geneva College, there was a power outage that lasted all night. Of course, it was an inconvenience, but because I had chosen a college full of people with like minds to my own, we made that night a very memorable night of making friendships and bonding with roommates. Everyone on my floor sat in the hallway doing homework under the lights that were lit by the backup generator, played music on our phones, and our RA gave us all mini flashlights that we ended up not even using because everyone was hanging out together in the hallway.  

Another task that will make your open house meaningful and beneficial is to sit down and make a list of some questions you have about college in general, or about the specific institution you are planning to visit. You can make the list alone, with your parents or with your friends. Having questions prepared beforehand will help you remember what aspects of college are most important to you, and you won’t feel so much pressure when it comes time to ask questions.  

Why should I go? 

In brief, you should go to an open house at a college you’re interested in because it will help you decide where you want to go, what you want to do and who you want to be. Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. You will build connections here for your future and make friends that will last a lifetime, but most importantly you will learn about the field you are passionate about. Attending a college open house will allow you to test the waters before you dive into choosing just any school to attend. Will you be uncomfortable and maybe even feel awkward? YES- but the whole point is to help Future You. One year, two years or ten years into the future, you will look back and thank yourself for putting in the work now to choose the right place for college.

Click here to explore Geneva College’s programs and get to know us. Learn more about Geneva College visit events and open houses by contacting Admissions – admissions@geneva.edu | 800-847-8255.

-Madison Smith ‘23