Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

The First Overnight In a College Dorm

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If your teen is seriously considering a college, I now highly recommend setting up an overnight visit with the admissions department. Here is our experience: while on this college visit my daughter spent the night as a guest with two sophomores at the college we are visiting. We thought it would be a great way to get a feel for what it is like to live on campus in this little town and really get a feel for whether or not she "fits in."

Upon arrival, we read and signed the paper about the rules, she was given her itinerary, meal tickets, appointment with a faculty member in the department she was interested in, and information about the class she was going to visit the following morning. The two young women who were hosting her introduced themselves and off she went - not a glance back - into the next grand adventure. The admission director smiled at me knowing I was holding back the tears - excited for her and knowing my life would never be the same. That evening my younger daughter, her friend and I saw a movie, had dinner and my younger daughter congratulated me when I did not text her older sister to say goodnight.

We picked my eldest up the following afternoon and her first words were "I love x university!" deep sigh - it had gone well! Her hostess hugged her goodbye and as we sat enjoying coffee at the bistro on campus she told us all about the apartment-style living, the great food service, the Hawaii club she visited the international relations class with only 20 people, the professor she had spoken with, the opportunity for a year abroad, how everyone had welcomed and talked with her, loved the school, the emails she had received about fun jobs to do on campus, the introduction to the theater director, and how much she felt like she belonged!

She said she never would have known about the clubs, food and rooms without having spent the night, and believes everyone should "try out life on any campus they re seriously considering." There you have it - words from the expert.

Photo credit: borman818
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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