Visiting university campuses is a staple of the college search process. Experiencing a school’s culture firsthand offers invaluable insight, but getting a “feel” for the school can easily become a stressful ordeal. This post will cover college visit tips and tricks that can apply to any school you visit while focusing on some Cedarville-specific suggestions.
The best way to make the most of your time on campus is to plan. Make a list of what you want to accomplish (Cedarville’s Admissions Office can help you create a schedule for your visit!). Take the time to explore the university’s website and the campus map before you arrive on campus. This will make you aware of the school’s priorities and programs. Plus, looking over the campus map online will help you visualize the campus and (hopefully) not get lost! Having a timeline and knowing where you are heading next can alleviate the stress of making decisions on the fly, allow you to consider all of your options, and ensure that you do not overlook opportunities.
Another thing you can do to prepare ahead of time is generate a list of questions to ask current students, professors, and admissions counselors. Thinking through these questions ahead of time allows you to engage in thoughtful conversation and get meaningful answers when you are on campus. Here are a handful of questions for current students to get you started:
- What is your major?
- Where are you from?
- What is your favorite part about being a student at Cedarville?
- What is your least favorite part about being a student at Cedarville?
- What church do you attend?
- Do you work on campus?
- What do you do on the weekends?
- Do you have a car on campus?
- What advice do you have for an incoming student?
Take a Tour
Take advantage of the campus and residence hall tours offered by the Admissions Office. These tours let you see the big picture of living on campus and give you the chance to ask your tour guide more specific questions. The campus tour focuses on academic buildings along with the student center, chapel, and gym, while the residence hall tour shows you the two dorm styles on campus — hall or unit — and speaks to the residence life experience.
Chapel sets Cedarville apart. Chapel is at 10 a.m. every weekday, so make sure to plan that hour into your visit. This is an incredible opportunity to join the whole campus body for worship and a message. Chapel is the heartbeat of campus and offers insight into the daily life of a Cedarville student and the community culture on campus. If you do not get the chance to experience chapel in person during your visit, you can always watch the daily recordings online.
Attend a Class
Prospective students are encouraged to sit in on a class during their visit to get a glimpse of college academics. The Admissions Office will provide you with a list of classes that you can visit. If you have time, pick both a major-specific class and a Bible minor class to observe. If a Bible minor class does not fit into your schedule, recorded lectures for each of the class are also available online!
Do not be afraid to strike up conversations with the students sitting around you and connect with the professor afterward — this is a great time to ask some of the questions that you prepared!
Enjoy a Meal at Chuck’s
Food matters! Cedarville has a number of dining options to choose from including Chick-fil-A, Panda Express, Tossed, Rinnova Coffee, and the dining hall, lovingly dubbed “Chuck’s.” Make sure that you experience Chuck’s at least once during your time on campus — you can try a chain restaurant anytime, but the dining hall is where you will be eating daily. If you have allergies, ask about the allergy friendly section so you know what is available to you. And do not forget the dessert — Chuck’s has ice cream available every day at lunch and dinner! Rinnova Coffee, in the lower Stevens Student Center, is also a fun stop to add to your visit if you have time.
Stay in the Residence Hall
Spending the night with a current student is a great way to see what life as a college student at Cedarville looks like. You get to step into the shoes of a student and actually experience living life on a college campus after classes are done for the day. This might look like attending a Bible study or campus sporting event, going to a student org dinner, or hanging out with a roommate. And don’t forget brushing your teeth in the hall bathroom! Student hosts are happy to share their world with you for the day and are a great source of authentic information about the school. You can coordinate an overnight stay through the Admissions Office.
Read About the Campus
You can learn a great deal about a university from the content and media it produces. When you are on campus, take the time to pick up a copy of the student newspaper, check out the event posters in the student center, and grab several informational flyers and brochures about programs of interest. There are also a number of outlets that you can peruse from home including the school’s social media accounts and the student government association website. Additionally, Cedarville chapels are live streamed and recorded daily, offering a unique inside perspective of the student body, campus life, and the University’s hallmark culture of discipleship.
Here are some helpful links you can check out before or after your campus visit:
- Student Government Association’s Website
- Student Government Association’s Instagram Page — @sgaville
- Cedarville University’s Instagram Page — @cedarville
- Cedarville’s Student Newspaper — Cedars
- Cedarville’s Chapel Page
Swing by the Campus Store
If you are looking for some Cedarville merch, the Campus Store is the place for you! Cedarville gear is great for college spirit days, representing your chosen college, and for wearing around campus when you come back as a student. The Campus Store also sells textbooks, gifts, and a few school essentials.
Take a Picture in Front of the Rock
As silly as it may sound, “The Rock” is a beloved landmark on Cedarville’s campus, and no visit is complete without snapping a picture in front of the painted icon. The Rock resides between the Stevens Student Center and the Health Sciences Center, where it can be seen from the dining hall windows. Students have been painting this rock with event details or inside jokes for years, and it is often freshly painted to welcome visitors. You never know when you might need the classic Cedarville picture! Plus, it will make mom proud!
Scout Out the Town
If you have extra room in your schedule, get a feel for the area and take the time to drive around town (it will not take long!). Beans-n-Cream and Orion are the two coffee spots downtown, with Church Street Cookies nestled in between them. The Cedarville Opera House hosts local events and productions. Lola’s Mexican Restaurant and Colonial Pizza are great local dining options. Massie’s Creek runs along the city park, through “downtown,” and then cascades down the waterfall at Indian Mound Reserve just outside of town. And don’t forget the fields of corn and soybeans!
Year and Major: Senior, Middle Childhood Education
Favorite Music Artist: Sarah Sparks, Evan Craft, & Rend Collective
Favorite Quote: “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis
What do you like to do in your free time? Paint watercolor cards, play sports (volleyball, tennis, spikeball), go on outdoor adventures, experiment with smoothie combos, read good books, & spend quality time with friends and family.
Favorite Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:7 & 2 Corinthians 12:9