Preparing too far in advance?

Is it worth it to tour colleges as a sophomore?


Photo by Sashrika Shyam

Case Western Reserve University was one of the three universities I toured over spring break of my sophomore year in high school.

The end of the school year brings joy and excitement for many, with summer just on the horizon. However, it also brings the fear of getting another year closer to college, if one chooses that route.

For many juniors, the end of the school year indicates a new adventure, they’re last year before college. Some have been planning their future for years, while some are still trying to find their next path. As a sophomore, I fell into the former group. 

I have known what I want to do for about a year now, and have since been looking at different colleges to apply to. I recently took my first college tour over spring break. While some might see that as too early, I found the experience to be very helpful. 

Because I know what my future career may look like, I was able to start touring colleges that would be most beneficial for my education. I was able to identify a lot of things early on, such as the type of campus I want to be at. 

Before starting college tours, I’ve always had the perception that I prefer a campus in the city. However, after touring Temple University in Philadelphia, I was surprised to find that I did not enjoy that type of campus at all. I was able to recognize that a city campus would not give me the environment I need to remain focused on my education.

Coming to this realization early has been extremely beneficial, because I realized that I have to stop focusing solely on city campuses, because I will not thrive there. It has really opened up more possibilities for me, and I’m glad that I have realized this early on.

However, starting college tours this early on has contributed to a lot of my stress. I had the opportunity to tour schools that are harder to get into, and I’ve really enjoyed those campuses. Because I fell in love with some of these campuses, I have grown to be more stressed about getting into these dream schools.

While this process has caused me an abundance of stress, it has only motivated me to try harder. I know what I am looking for, and I’m starting to take the steps to get there. 

Touring colleges in my sophomore year has shown me the reality of college, and all the effort I have to put in. Starting this early has been very helpful, and I think it’s a good thing to start early, as these tours are free. I believe that without touring colleges this early, I would not be as prepared to do what I need to achieve success.