The Radish’s DOs and DON’Ts: College Tours


William Meyer

Ah, college tours. The honored tradition of walking around campus with your favorite parent and their unending stream of judgment, nodding politely, and pretending you know what the heck anyone is talking about. But fear not, future scholars, for I have created the ultimate guide to surviving these trials by fire. Whether you’re a clueless high school junior or an overachieving underclassman, we’ve got the tips and tricks you need to make it through the tour without collapsing in a puddle of sweat after walking at a brisk 53 mph through dining halls and cramming your way into perfectly staged 3-by-4 ft dorm rooms, all while current college students stare you down. Besides ensuring that you will find the perfect school, these tips have been shown to increase your leg strength by 303% for your favorite 2-hour walking tours and boost your ego by 462% so you can handle the ballistic shock of hearing the school’s average test scores. Current Junior Bartholomew Nutrigrain remarked, “Now I make sure to include my SAT score whenever I introduce myself.” He even likes to share his personal essay as well, if the conversation starts to get dry. I truly admire his self confidence. Now, let’s get into these scientifically proven Dos and Don’ts of college tours before you hear the words “holistic admissions” again. Whoops, it seems like you just read it. 


Tell people that you were already accepted

  • Just speak it into existence. Plus, you might be treated with special privileges if you do it correctly.

Start a fight with other tour-goers over who loves the school more 

  • Make the school feel like the main character of a rom-com. Who doesn’t love that attention? 

Stand out when you introduce yourself

  • Tell everyone that you’re going into a really elaborate field of study. My go-to is “Agricultural Farming Supplies Retail and Wholesaling.” Also make sure to include a step-by-step career plan for the next 10 years so everyone knows you’re here with a purpose.

Wear another school’s T-shirt 

  • It’s important to show your loyalty and intimidate the school giving the tour. If their spam emails don’t have you convinced, you’re a hot commodity. 

Loudly proclaim your love for the school, even if you’ve never heard of it before today

  • Just get straight to the point. All you have to do is yell “[school name] IS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE.” Now that’s demonstrated interest. 

Bring your own personal fan club to follow you around and cheer for you during the tour. You want to make a good impression

  • Nothing says “I’m the best” quite like having your own personal fan club to follow you around and cheer for you during the tour. It shows that you’re popular and well-liked and that the college would be lucky to have someone as influential as you.  

Heckle the tour guide

  • Nothing shows your intelligence and maturity quite like heckling the person who’s showing you around. Heckling the tour guide also shows that you’re not afraid to speak your mind and that you’re willing to challenge authority.

Become a tour guide

  • Break away from the group and start giving your own tour to strangers. It shows that you’re an independent thinker who isn’t afraid to take initiative.


Visit safety schools

  • You’ll get into your reach schools #trusttheprocess 

Listen to the tour guide  

  • They’re obviously biased and just trying to indoctrinate you so one day you’ll become a loyal alumni who is well versed on the founder’s biography (likely a guy named John or Will) and would sell your kidney if the school asked. Instead, rely on your gut feelings and random strangers on the internet. Who needs facts and pie charts when you can trust your instincts? 

Research the college beforehand 

  • That way, you can be pleasantly surprised by everything and have a truly authentic experience. Nothing screams “college readiness” like showing up completely clueless. 

Tell people that you are from Philadelphia 

  • You will have to awkwardly tell them that you’re not actually from Philadelphia when they ask you which part of Philly you’re from. 

Follow the tour guide too closely 

  • You don’t want to seem too desperate. The tour guide should really be coming to you.