We asked Chelsea Merget, our public relations intern from Boston University, if students or parents touring campus ever stop and ask her questions. They do and below is Chelsea's take on her role as a BU native.
I have been approached by several students visiting the campus. I also work in an area on campus that handles a lot of visiting traffic so I have had rather lengthy conversations with parents and students about BU.
Even though it was kind of difficult for me to answer, I really appreciated her train of thought–what complaints do these students really have about their school? Instead of answering where the best place to live is or my favorite place to hang out like I have a hundred times, I actually had to think about a negative knowing it could make or break a college decision. I was honest about the cost of tuition being a challenge and that sometimes we wonder where our undergrad fee goes. There was no positive way to answer this question except to be completely honest.
Another factor that really makes a difference when answering questions is having the student, not the parent, do the asking. It is the student, after all, who will be attending the college, so they should ask questions that they want answered.
Even with the parent present, there is a difference in how I answer questions compared to when I am directly addressing a student. My answers are more informal, more approachable, and possibly more honest and frank with a student.
When parents ask questions, a lot of times students feel the need to impress them with statistics, facts, and the typical answers. I always feel more comfortable giving my honest opinion to a student directly, especially if the student is alone. In addition, I think the student feels a more personal connection with the school if they have a real, human interaction with another student.
Asking a student on campus what they like least is a great question! Here are 15 other questions to consider asking when on your college tour: Student-to-Student: Questions to ask on a College Visit.