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The rest of your life starts here …

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campus tourA few months ago I wrote a post about my eldest son’s applications to post-secondary institutions. And now with a few offers in hand, my eldest son has some decisions to make.

Much to my son’s surprise (not mine), bit by bit those offers started trickling in and we carefully picked the ones we would go and visit. Unlike the parents of many university-bound kids, I chose not to take him on road trip visiting every single post-secondary school between infinity and beyond. Instead, I promised I would take him to visit those to which he received offers, and was most keen to attend. Never having been on a single university tour myself when I was applying, I did want him to make an informed choice.  Depending on the location of these choices, however, a campus tour can set you back the price of a school year’s tuition!

The campus tour is generally pretty standard: the major academic buildings, the library or libraries if the school is large enough, at least one dorm room, at least one dining hall or the dining halls, the sports complex, and all the major support services (academic, health, etc.). It is also possible to arrange more in-depth tours with various faculties and even arrange to meet faculty members or varsity coaches. I’ve quickly realized that a good university tour guide is more than someone who can walk backwards and talk at the same time – they can make or break a prospective student and their family’s first impression.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get the uber- energetic student or recent grad that could not imagine life without this university. As annoying as their enthusiasm and university loyalty can be, the tour will not end until you know everything about the school including the words of the favourite university drinking song or have the university’s motto emblazoned on your brain. Alternatively, you may get a less enthusiastic tour guide who appears to have better things to do than make converts of wide-eyed, naïve high schoolers, and who showcases themselves and their accomplishments inviting you to come the their university so you can truly be as impressive as they have become (doing university tours for a living).

So now begins my son’s decision-making crunch time. He has ultimately has about three weeks now, to make his decision and pay his deposit (as you can guess procrastination runs in our family!). In that time, he will reflect not only on the wisdom of all that he has learned about these respective universities, but also on the words of wisdom of the tour guides.

I hope he took good notes!


About Astra

I am a zamboni fumes-inhaling hockey mom of three. I poke fun at myself, motherhood and minor hockey. Offside by a Mile, my tell-all hockey mom-oir will be soon published. Read more at, follow me on Twitter @mydustbunnies and join my Facebook page at

9 responses

  1. Feeling a little verklempt.

  2. I remember these days very well. I was excited with my son’s choice until I learned it was one of the top 10 party schools and my son proved to be no exception to all that partying. Sigh. Well, I hope your son gets to go to the school of his dreams! And that he studies hard once he goes, unlike my son who ended up taking five years to get his degree. On the bright side, he has a degree! Yay!

  3. Not quite there yet, my oldest is just starting high school. But I could only imagine how excited he is — how are you holding up?🙂

    • With all the excitement I will hold up great until we drive away from the dorm…probably long after he’s said his goodbyes!

  4. Has he decided yet? My guy is heading away too. * gulp *

  5. Lady, I’m glad all that is now in the past for the Son and me. You’ll know release, and relief, when you see your child’s name on the commencement program. If you’re anything like me, you’ll stand, cheer, and scream at the top of you lungs, “The fat lady has sung!” I’ll drink to that!😉


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