College campuses are typically one of the most welcoming places you can visit. You expect to see the welcome mat laid out 365 days a year. While it's true that prospective students and their families are the V.I.P.s of college admissions, there's one day a year that makes it difficult to accommodate the needs of visitors: Move-In Day. If there's one day during the school year to avoid planning to visit campus, it would be Move-In Day and here are three reasons why:
1. Zero–Nada–Zip–Parking Spaces Available. Unless you've worked on a college campus or have already visited several campuses, it's unfathomable that when someone says there are no parking spaces available, it really is a true statement. Believe it.
Whether enrollment on a residential campus is 800 or 8,000, 90% of new and returning students are going to show up on the same day–in their cars. The number of cars needing to move through campus on a single day will exceed the number of available parking spaces. Traffic patterns will be disrupted and it will be impossible to get anywhere on time. Why put yourself through the frustration?
2. Long Lines for Everything. From bathrooms to bookstores to burger shops, there will be lines. And, If you're thinking that the admissions office will be empty because move-in is about enrolled students who don't have anything to do with admissions anymore, think again. Often times, admissions is the only office freshmen know how to locate so they go there to get directions or get their questions answered or even just see a familiar face on campus.
3. Not Your Typical Day. Usually, when prospective students plan to visit campus, they want to get a feel for what their life will be like if they end up enrolling in this school. Move-In Day is not a snapshot of a typical day in the life of Joe-College Student. Classes are not yet in session, not all of the faculty will be on campus, labs will be closed, and the flow of students will be those trekking from their cars to the dorms laden with boxes and room furnishings, not students traveling to and from class. It's not a good time to stop and ask a student, "So, how do you like going to school here?"
Move-In Day is not about you — the prospective student — it's about them — those who were in your shoes a year ago and made it through the college admissions process. Come back in a few weeks and then ask them what they like about the choice they made when they were high school seniors. Parking will be easier and you'll get a more informed answer from someone who's been there, done that.