As a college tour guide, I pretty much have seen and heard it all. Some parents and students do things which make giving the tour difficult or ask questions that are inappropriate or ridiculous. This post will tell you what not to do on a tour and what not to ask your tour guide.
What Not to Do on a College Tour
1. Don’t Sit down
When you are being given a campus tour you will occasionally make brief stops as you walk around. When I say brief I mean 10-30 seconds not 10 minutes. One time I had a mom who had to sit down at every stop on the tour. She even would walk 30 feet behind the group to a bench so she didn’t have to stand up. It slows the group down by causing us to wait for you to catch up.
2. Don’t Be on your Phone
This one drives me the most insane and I have seen it from parents, students, even teachers! When I see you on your phone I figure that you don’t want to be here and that you are uninterested in the tour and the college. You will miss important information that I am giving you and some really cool stuff. It also is disrespectful to the tour guides who took time out of their day to show you the campus. I don’t get paid to give tours, I do it because I love it.
3. Don’t Wander Off
It doesn’t happen too often, but it still occurs. When you are on a tour we do our very best to show you every possible thing we can. If you wander off you may miss things, hold the group back, and you might even get lost and have no idea where to go.
4. Don’t Make Stops
Going off of wandering off, try not to make stops and hold the group back. Most tours are on a time crunch so if you stop at the bake sale table, you will make the tour wait for you or you will be left behind. If you make us wait I will have to skip some buildings and information that was important to know. When it comes to the bathroom when you got to go you got to go. Try and go before the tour and if you are in the tour and need to go, let someone know and be fast!
5. Don’t Bring Everyone
Touring a college is an important moment, but you don’t need to bring your parents, grandparents, all 5 of your siblings, your aunt and uncle, and your best friend. The smaller the tour the better. I suggest bringing just one to two people such as your parents, or go with your friends. I toured most colleges with my boyfriend.
6. Don’t Just show up
Again, it doesn’t always happen but it does. When it comes to campus tours you need to sign up for them and say how many people you are bringing with. This way, we can know how many tour guides are needed for the tours. By just showing up it may make our job more difficult.
7. Don’t be too close or too far
I have given tours where people have been right up on my feet and have been way too close for comfort. I also have had people who are hesitant to be closer than 20 feet from me. Find a happy medium.
8. Don’t Take Tons of Photos
It’s okay to take a picture of the dorm you will be staying in, or the pristine campus, but don’t take photos constantly. Don’t take photos or videos of your tour guide or other students. Don’t stop the group to take photos of your child outside of every academic building, and most of all don’t ask your tour guide to take the picture. My job is to give you a tour not be your personal photographer.
9. Don’t dress Inappropriately
It’s okay to wear shorts on a hot day, but don’t were shorts so short that your butt cheeks are hanging out. On a tour you will be walking a lot! Wear comfortable clothes and shoes (Not Heels) and bring a sweatshirt or jacket since you will be in and out of the buildings.
10. Don’t Show Off
As much as you love and are proud of your child, you don’t need to tell the group that she is an honor student with a 3.9 GPA. As awful as it sounds we don’t care, the tour isn’t about talking about yourself or your child, it’s about learning about the school. Also don’t try to show off your knowledge of the school.
What Not to Ask on a College Tour
1. Don’t Ask about Parties
As much as parties are an important part of college life, asking questions about them is inappropriate and uncomfortable. It’s okay to ask if students party but know that the answer will always be yes. But don’t ask me about my experience with parties, where the best parties are, and especially ask me about alcohol and parties. Most people touring are 18 and under! Don’t ask me about something illegal.
2. Don’t Ask about Sex
I literally have been asked by a parent if you can hear people having sex through the walls? And if when I have sex how quiet do I need to be? EXTREMELY INAPPROPRIATE and personal. Students have sex in the dorms, they can and they will. You can ask if sex in the dorms is allowed or if there is any policy on it. But don’t ask anything beyond that especially your tour guide’s experience!
3. Don’t Ask if You will be Accepted
I can’t tell you if your GPA and ACT will get you accepted into this college. That’s the job of the Admissions office to tell you. A tour guide might be able to tell you the acceptance rate and maybe the average ACT and High School GPA but it is unlikely.
4. Don’t Ask About Financial Aid
Again, this is a question for the Financial Aid or Admissions Office, not a random student giving you a campus tour! We simply have no idea what you qualify for or how to use FAFSA.
5. Don’t Ask Relationship Questions
Don’t ask me if I have hooked up with anyone on Tinder here, don’t ask me where people hook up, and don’t ask me about my relationships. It’s too personal and weird.
6. Don’t Ask Anything the Website will Tell You
Don’t ask anything too general or statistic wise such as graduation rate, how much tuition is, etc. I had a parent today who asked me how many theater majors there are on campus? Again it’s too specific and statistical. Your tour guide could connect you with someone from admission but they just would tell you to look it up online.
7. Don’t Ask Me Things I Won’t Know
Don’t expect me to know the exact cost of room and board, don’t expect me to know how long it takes to get from one hall to another, don’t expect me to have every club memorized. It is okay to say “You may not know the answer to this but is there a League of Legends club?” Your tour guide most likely will be able to connect you to someone after the tour who can answer you question.
8. Don’t Ask about Specific Majors
Unless you are majoring in History Education like me, don’t ask me what is needed to be accepted into the Nursing Program or how many credits is required to get into the Business program. You can ask what majors are offered and maybe some specific questions about my major but I don’t know everything.
9. Don’t Ask Long Drawn Out Questions
Again tours are on a time crunch, instead of asking long specific drawn out questions, keep them short and sweet.
Overall, when it comes to what you should ask on a tour just keep the questions appropriate, general, and not too personal. Tour guides are filled with tons of information and can be a great resource, just follow these tips and you will have a great tour!