OPINION: Touring Etiquette 101


Bella Lantz, Associate Opinion Editor

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Touring colleges is a part of many people’s lives during junior and senior year of high school; however, due to the pandemic, it has not happened as much as it used to. Since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, there have been a multitude of students and parents touring through colleges. With touring becoming normalized again and colleges going back to in-person learning, there are many people on campus. While at the university, if it is a school day, there is a chance to see college students going about their day either going to class or enjoying the college experience. When touring a college, there is a way to go about building to building in a respectful way without upsetting the college students. There are certain things to keep in mind while touring college campuses.

Rule #1: Do not point

Keep in mind that touring high school students intimidate college students, as much as the college students intimidate the high schoolers. While touring a college, it is relatively easy to see a college student and point at what they are doing or what they are wearing. It is known that college students have great taste in style and where they are headed is fascinating, but please do not point. This helps the college students feel like they are not on display or being talked about. College students can be insecure and keeping this rule in mind helps create the safe space everyone wants.

Rule #2: Be aware of your surroundings

Please let the students go ahead when on a tour. It is difficult for the students to get around big tour groups while in class and any bit of help is nice. Normally, if you see a student running or sprint walking, it is because they are late or going to be late. Please be aware of the students that are scrambling around everyone. I promise they are not trying to be mean, they just want to get to where they need to be.

Rule #3: Do not be negative

College students live their entire lives on campus, so they know more about the bad and good things on campus than touring students do. With this being said, please do not make rude remarks about the buildings or food on campus. College students are well aware of all the bad and good things the school has to offer; they do not appreciate it when people continuously talk about the bad. It is easy to harp on the negatives, but for many college students, campus is a home and a safe place, and to hear negative comments could be discouraging. If you want to make a remark, please at least wait until the car ride home.

All college students were high schoolers once. Getting nervous before or during a tour is something that is recognized by all students. College students will not ever get mad at high schoolers exploring the school or being excited to go. However, it is important to keep in mind that these unspoken rules are based on mutual respect for each other and the spaces in which everyone occupies. College students want the people that love the school to come and enjoy the highs and lows of the college experience. College students are not mean people and are just trying to get to their classes and extracurricular activities. High school students touring does not affect that at all until these rules are broken. This is not meant to discourage people from coming and is instead meant to help high schoolers that want to tour, do so comfortably. I promise every high school student will understand once they are a college student.