Yesterday Admissions hosted an Open House for all prospective students and their families. I love days like this because even though they are long, I get to meet so many people and help them through the difficult process of choosing a college. Open Houses for Ambassadors means a few hours of work and getting to talk about the school we all love. As tough as it was to get up at 9am after being on my feet all day the day before, it was worth it once I saw my first tour group. They were energetic and full of important questions. It’s always interesting to see how different families from different areas will act on tour. By the end of my first semester being a tour guide, I was able to figure out what types of people would be interested in different things. We always try to keep tour groups small so we can tailor it more towards the things you want to see around campus. On big visit days like these, however, that’s a little more difficult to do. It just so happened that I had a bunch of people that were interested in various sciences so we spent a lot of time in the science buildings.
I know this may sound weird but I also love when tours laugh at my jokes. There are some jokes I add in to my tours each time and sometimes there will be a few chuckles and sometimes there will just be crickets. After the group’s reactions to the first few jokes, I can kind of assess where this tour is going personality wise and tailor it even more. On big visit days, this proves to be a little more challenging, especially when the tour route has to change because of the number of tours trying to go into one building at the same time. Last year during one of these big visit days we came up with the term Tour Guide Pinball in relation to how we figure out which tour is going where. The tour guides are like a family so we’ll make comments to each other as we pass, but on crazy days like this there are less comments and more figuring out where everyone is going. It’s like a puzzle and we are just so awesome that we make it work every single time.
I love the atmosphere of campus during big visit days. It seems like, for the most part, the sun is always shinning and the weather is always picture perfect. It was so perfect yesterday that the official school photographer was out following our tours taking pictures. Of course he would choose to do it on a day where I didn’t have time to do my hair! Oh well, at least that means the pictures that go on our website aren’t posed. They really are students and faculty in action on campus. That is one of the things I love about being at a small school, it’s very personal. When you look at the website, you either know someone in the pictures or you are in the pictures. It’s great to be able to say, “Hey! She’s in my chem class!” It’s just such a neat experience that I never thought of when I was looking for schools.