Should You Go On College Visits?

With both mothers and fathers working these days, you may be asked (or perhaps you should offer) to take your grandchildren to visit prospective colleges.

We think this is a wonderful idea and something that you should definitely consider doing . . . with some provisos.

First of all, be sure you are physically up to it. Can you do the necessary walking around rambling campuses? Will you be “that guy” who holds up tours because you have to find a place to sit?

Do you have the ability to shut-up? It is all too easy to ask questions that are not relevant to your grandchild (and embarrassing to them as well!) If you feel you absolutely must know if there are adequate fire alarms, police stations, etc. ask when you have one-on-one sessions.

Are you ready for how things have changed? Don’t make a college visit an opportunity for you to relate countless, “when I went to school . . . .” stories to your grandkid. This is THEIR moment . . . not yours.

We can offer you a few heads-ups before you arrive anywhere:

- There is far more diversity on college campuses then when you attended.

-Libraries are far more social now. Don’t think there is no learning going on at a college because there is not a deadly silence in the library.

- Dorms are very different. Accommodations can be larger/smaller than you recall, to say nothing about co-ed housing.

Be prepared for your grandkids to go off on their own during visits. It is very important that they have this time to get a real feel for the college they are interested in. Don’t take it personally! Use this time to re-charge at your hotel or at the Student Center.

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