Blog College Preparation

Three Reasons To Visit Campus Before Making A College Decision

By Hannah Anenson on Friday, October 27, 2023


Hannah will never forget the day she moved into college, especially because she left two days later and moved to UNW. In high school she was looking at private Christian universities. They all felt very similar: develop your faith, find your mission, and prepare to succeed in your chosen field while honoring God through your work. When she found herself at that first Christian school and not quite feeling like it was the right fit, she was asking herself, “Where did I go wrong?”

So many students have similar experiences. It can feel incredibly hard to find the place that feels like home; the campus that helps you grow in your academic, personal, and hopefully, your faith journey.  

Campus visits seem like a small part of a student’s journey to a college decision, but walking the sidewalks of a campus and picturing yourself as a student should be a big part of making the right choice for your future school. 

Campus culture is a combination of big and small things that makes up a school. Not only is UNW a Christian campus, but its students are deeply engaged in chapel and their spiritual development. Students focus as much on faith development as they do on their rigorous academic studies, and there is incredible support for both. Northwestern is known for its mission that everything is on purpose. Professors pray at the start of every class, RAs hold Bible studies in each hall, students uplift classmates and friends, and young alumni experience mentorship from professors. Northwestern’s culture is one of excellence, encouragement, preparation, and fun.

Visiting campus is the best way to experience the culture first-hand. Here are three reasons why you should visit campus before making your college choice:

  1. Get a feel for the place – When something is known, it is comfortable. When something is unknown, it causes uncertainty and can be scary. By visiting campus, you will be able to relieve some of the fears of not knowing where things are, who people are, and the best way to do things. Being physically on campus and meeting people can help make the right choice for your own peace of mind.
  2. Get answers – Choosing a college can feel like an impossible decision. Being on campus gives a more dynamic perspective than poking around a website or social media account. All of your questions can be answered by a real person and in real time. It can also help to answer your own questions. Here are a couple to ask yourself on your ride home.
    1. Did I get excited as I walked around campus?
    2. Were there spaces I would want to hang out or study?
    3. Were there people that I could see myself being friends with?
    4. Is the major I want to study available? Is the program something that I am excited to take part in?
    5. What is unique about the program that other schools are missing?
    6. Are there extracurriculars that I enjoy?
    7. Can I picture this as my home?
    8. Bonus: Ask a current student what words they would use to describe the campus culture?
  3. Make a connection – Getting on campus can provide a personal connection that furthers your relationship with the UNW community and helps you visualize the campus beyond the photos you’ve seen on a postcard. Talking with the students in your major or potential dorm can help you get honest answers with insights into the student experience.

Where it naturally feels like home, is where it’s going to continue to feel like home. Where you wish it felt like home, it will be hard to make it feel like home. Wherever you land, make sure that the campus culture is the right fit for your academic journey.

Sometimes visiting campus isn’t an option. If you don’t have the ability to visit, join ZeeMee, a social platform for an upcoming class of students and get connected with roommates and the other students in your class! Find out more about campus and have all of your questions answered by your classmates and friends.

Take the next step in your college search and visit campus! We have one Fall Preview Days left on November 3, and early this next year we will have Spring Preview Days. Check our website in the next few weeks for an update on dates and times! Or join another Admissions event that fits best with your area of study! Join us for Fine Arts Event on November 10, STEM Event on November 16, and Christmas at Northwestern with Admissions on December 1. Or find another excuse to visit our campus!