3 Ways to Tour a College

Every once in a while, I think about my future. Usually it is something along the lines of: “Will I get my drivers license before the world ends in 2012?” (answer: probably). But sometimes I also think about serious things, like “How will the world ending affect the stock market?” (answer: ask again later).

One of these overwhelming “serious things” is college, because it determines whether or not you can be frustrated you didn’t get a job (and us teens love complaining). Since the job market is so bad that you won’t get a job regardless, at least you can say, “I went to Northern Montana’s Community College, for crying out loud. How could I not have been given the job?!” (answer: you went to a college to learn how to cry out loud, and most employers don’t want someone who goes to tears often).

All they really want is someone who will work for, at most, three almonds a day. So maybe you should have said, “I went to Northern Montana’s Community College, for what? For nothing?!” Then you will you definitely get the job, because you went to a college to learn how to work for “nothing”.

However, to better plan ahead for the future, you can take a tour of these colleges. These afford the same benefits as actually attending the college, because you can then say: “I went to Northern Montana’s Community College *cough* for a tour *end cough*, for crying out loud. How could Phil not have come up with something other than crying out loud for me to say this time?” (answer: because Phil was planning to re-use the same bad joke, something like how you’d have to ask the tour guide to teach you how to cry).

So, as you can see, college tours can be pretty beneficial when it comes to choosing colleges (you can only see this if you are reading this in a fun house mirror upside down). The question is, how do you do it?

Well, there are pretty much three different ways to tour a college. Each of the three ways is unique, except for the fact that two of them are the same as the first one.

The Classic Tour

I say classic not because it is boring, but because it is old (remember, classic=The Red Badge of Courage=Old and Boring=large generalization=forget that last part).

It is tradition for prospective students to come to the college and be shown around by a certified college tour guide. Certified means that the college student giving the tour isn’t hungover.

Often, these students highlight some useful things that you should know about the college. For instance, where the restrooms are, how long the average tour lasts, that they are “really sure” the tour will be over soon, and a few statistics that they are required to share (such as that 100% of students walk through “here” on the way to “class”).

However, you should be aware of the misleading statements that are spoken, as well. When the guide says that “All of the students like that class, the one titled ‘studies of between-the-lines reading in books with only 5 or more syllable words’,” they really mean that all the students had to like that class on facebook to get a passing grade.

The other good thing about taking a guided tour is that you don’t appear as vulnerable to the current college students. Vulnerability is often very bad, because, “This campus? Oh, yeah, I really like how safe it is.” (The campus is actually extremely dangerous, so this means the tour guide is either a sadistic person who enjoys watching people mugged, or a news anchor who enjoys having something to talk about).

The Self-Guided Tour

For people like my great aunt Tabatha (who doesn’t exist) who are too good for the commoner guided tour, there is always the option to guide yourself.

To do this successfully, you need to plan ahead. You should bring a map, a compass, a GPS, freeze-dried energy bricks, and candy bars (for appeasing any attacking college student).

What you then do is you walk around in a circle until you realize, “that building looks familiar,” and then come to the conclusion that you are lost.

Eventually, only days before your energy-bar supply runs out, a guided tour will come along and you will follow them out. On the way out, you will learn many useful things, such as how many students love spending time in the dining hall and crypt.

The “Hey, You” tour

WARNING: Only for the experienced tour-er who is unafraid of getting lost, losing money, or being eaten alive. Also, small parts. Not for children under three, unless they are extremely mature two-year olds. Because, really, there’s as little as a day between the two ages.

This is the most unstructured type of tour. It involves going up to somebody who looks both like a college student and a coherent being (hard to find outside of Disney movies-actually, hard to find coherent people there, too).

You shout, “Hey, You!” at the top of your voice (so it’s really like, “HEY, YOU!”) in case they went to a concert last night and are now mostly deaf.

Then you explain that you will offer them a sum of money (I’d say twenty bucks is probably good, unless they are me in four years time, in which case I’d say a credit card or two will suffice. And no, I don’t believe that your name is “Your Name Here.” Nice try).

Next, they will take the money and run away. If you are sensible, you will chase them. This chase will lead you on a “tour” (in the French sense of the word, as the “Tour de France” is a race) throughout the college, eventually leaving you at a certain point depending in your fitness level.

These ways, as I’ve stated, will all give you a unique sense of the college you are touring. To get a really unique sense, though, touch, smell, listen, look, and, most importantly, taste the colleges you visit. A small piece of grass or a chip of a brick is very easily digested.

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Comments

  1. I’ll gladly take 20$ to run away from you at any of the MILLION colleges in the Boston area. Please refer your friends to me as well, and anyone listening out there in TV Land.

    20$ X 1 Million Schools = 20 MILLIONS

    Bear in mind that I am not a college student and never went to school in the Boston area.

    • That sounds like a good business model, Kev. Plus, you have a large market demographic: mature two year olds and up. Who knew that there was so much money to be had in the college tour industry (although your competition, the college itself, gives away tours for free)?

  2. When I was touring the University of Maine at Orono, I found myself lost in its rural bliss, so I just started walking in a straight line until a road came along. Then I followed that road to the parking lot somehow; there was a naked bike ride going through the parking lot, so I ran back to the road and hitchhiked to my Bangor hotel.

    College tours be crazy.

    • And that is why I’d recommend the guided tour.

      Thanks for the heads up, though; I’ll have to avoid parking lots for the rest of my college tours.

      – Phil

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