The Paly Voice

Spring break: a satirical perspective on college tours

Teddy Huang, Eddie Wang, and Dylan Fu

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As the 2017-2018 school year comes toward a close, millions of Highschoolers across the country are or will be arranging college tours. Photo: Berkeley University.

As the 2017-2018 school year comes toward a close, millions of high schoolers across the country are or will be arranging college tours. Photo: Kyla Fu.

During spring breaks all across the country, hundreds of juniors, sophomores and fifth graders make the annual migration to visit the campuses of various prestigious universities.

The college tour has inexplicably become a seemingly compulsory step in the college application process, particularly for students interested in competitive four-year schools. College University™ is one of these universities, with a highly selective acceptance rate of 0.0%. As such, its tours are some of the most popular in the country.

The tour at College University™ begins with the smiling face of an overly energetic undergraduate. After being greeted by this cheerful student, tourists have no choice but to “go around the circle and say your name, age and what you want to major in,” at the tour guide’s demand. 

This tour guide is but one victim of the lure of work-study. Motivated by the prospect of spare change, student tour guides are guaranteed to know all of the minutiae that parents on the tour will ask about.

During the actual tour, the tour guides will strategically avoid explaining things that are of actual importance to the tour attendees by covering insignificant aspects of the college experience, such as donated buildings, popular school curses and famous alumni. 

Students may sometimes tentatively ask questions about the majors they are interested in, but unless the major in question is also the major of the guide, guides will politely (re)direct you to “ask the admissions officer once the tour is done,” thus taking themselves out of, and putting the admissions officer into, a potentially awkward situation.

The guides round out the tours by discussing why they chose to go to College University™ instead of the other highly selective schools. This convincing and motivating speech ends with the not at all convincing and motivating reveal that College University™ was, in fact, their backup choice.  

After the tour is finished, the tour guides will happily direct you to the nearest University Bookstore™ where you can buy a wholly affordable sweater for the low, low price of $160. However, you will never wear this sweater again after you go to a completely different college.

With such a comprehensive introduction to the universities of your choice, college tours are a must for any student looking to get ahead of their peers. Of course, this is assuming that no one else goes on college tours and that you even remember the content of the tours. All in all, college tours can be considered a worthwhile experience for any student with time during the break. Of course, that is assuming you have the patience to sit through the true challenge — the information session. 

 

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