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Southern Colleging Extravaganza: Part II, Davidson.

- Justine

Next on the itinerary was Davidson College in Davidson, NC. Davidson requires that you sign up for college tours and information sessions on their website, so make sure you do that about a week in advance. When we arrived at the admissions building, they had forms and folders with our names on them. It was a little intimidating telling them about my favorite books and what other schools I was looking into, but at least it showed they had a legitimate interest in their applicants and future student body.

The student tour guide seemed like she really loved going to Davidson but wasn’t bubbling with enthusiasm. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I like tour guides to be that way. It bothers me when they are dull and disinterested, but it bothers me just as much when they’re over-the-top… it just makes them seem superficial. The tour brought us all around the moderate-sized campus and really caught my attention. The facilities were really well-kept and organized, with lots of bulletin board displays about various academic or extracurricular opportunities for students. I also liked the fact that a lot of people were getting around on bikes. On college tours, looking is as important, if not more, than listening.

The information session was also excellent. The admissions officer talked specifically about the character of Davidson, rather than just giving the usual spiel about what admissions offices are looking for on your application (hint: it’s always good test scores, even better grades, recommendations, extracurricular involvement, and your essay). I was so impressed by what I had heard so far that I decided to round out my visit by attending a class.

Observing Advanced Intermediate French through Cinema confirmed my approval of Davidson. As I quietly took a seat in the corner of the classroom, the students called me over and insisted I join the circle. The professor introduced me to the class, then dove into a stimulating, discussion-based class. All the students were engaged, and even when he was going over exercises, the professor made a point to get the students talking and practicing their French. I talked to him afterwards (always thank a professor if you sit in on his or her class!) and he talked about how great the relationships between students and faculty are at Davidson.

Before going on to our next stop (Charlottesville, VA to see the University of Virginia) we had lunch on campus, yet another great way to get a real impression of the college you’re visiting. This is your time to choose where you can make the best of your college years, and it’s always worth the extra time to add to visiting experience.

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