If you are in high school, there is a high probability that you are thinking about college. Typically, an average high school student will start looking at colleges in his or her junior year. Giving yourself this much time – a year and a half – will allow you the opportunity to really make the right choice. Sure, you may not have had that much of a choice when it came to attending your high school, but college is different. There are thousands of colleges out there – around the country and the world. You will be spending four or more years in a certain school, so it is critical to choose the right one. Here are some college visit do’s and don’ts for high school students.

Don’t Get Too Caught Up in the Social Scene

When you go on a college campus visit, you don’t want to get distracted or caught up in the social scene. Sure, there may be a lot of other students around and even parties you might be invited to, but you want to refrain from having too much fun and losing focus on your main objective. You are there, after all, to look into a potential learning institution. You can always party when you settle into things during your first year.

Do Explore the Facilities that Most Interest You

If you have a particular interest in a certain field of study, you may want to focus your visit on that field. For instance, if you are interested in the sciences, you may want to check out the labs and science lecture halls. There is a good chance there is a lab and other classrooms that are focused on the scientific arena. If you want to be a photographer, you may want to explore the photography labs. These days, there aren’t many darkrooms left, but there may be an editing bay for photo and video work.

Don’t Forget to Ask About Online Courses

If you want to balance out your course load with in-class and online courses, you may want to ask your visiting advisor if there is the option. For instance, there is Northeastern’s online MBA program, but another college may not have online courses. If you have a full or part time job or other family obligations that affect your schedule, then you may want to ask about this option. One of the benefits of taking online courses is that you can control when you watch lectures and do classwork, even if it is in the middle of the night. Plus, it is relatively inconvenient and expensive to drive all the way to class everyday if you have a job somewhere. If you are on a tight budget and trying to get by, an online course load may be the way to go. You can always take in-class courses later.

Do Check Out the Dorms

On top of everything, you want to be sure that you check out the dorms. This is where you will be living for at least a year or two. After a while, you may want to find an apartment. However, you want to be sure that you can make that decision before you move in. In the end, some dorms aren’t exactly the nicest or the most comfortable.