Packing for Overnight College Visits

Okay, so you’ve reached this far in your high school career. Woohoo! You’ve been accepted to different colleges, and you need help figuring out which is best fit for you. I suggest taking different types of tours! Many schools have a preview or one-day visits where high school students can attend classes and feel like a student for a day! Some schools limit this particular overnight day to students who applied and are accepted to the college.

In my case, my final college choices that I was contemplating on had students that I knew and went to my high school! I asked both students their favorite part of the college as well as their likes and reason for choosing it. I definitely suggest making ties with people not only just for college but, to create a relationship and friendship beyond your grade level.

One of my friends is currently a junior in college, and she told me so many tips about high school including to cherish it! Being in clubs where your overwhelming grade isn’t the majority is helpful to create these ties and step over the grad boundary. Trust me, seniors aren’t scary! I love hanging out with my underclassman friends! It’s like a buddy system or mentoring when we talk about their future as a college aspect of things! Since I’m currently in this position, they get to learn from my experience just as I did with my older friends!

This is extremely beneficial in your senior year as you decipher what you like best! You’ll be able to interact with current students, visit and sleep in the dorms, eat in the lunch spots, attend classes, and more! While there, don’t forget to ask questions! This is an excellent time to ask your host student, their friends and roommate(s), and your admissions counselor for any specifics! Want to know all the scholarship information or why you should choose the college? Just ask!

Try registering for an overnight during a special event that the college has! This allows you to see student participation and authentic experience with events on a regular basis! One of my college visits included a basketball game! I was able to see how involved and united the school was and the reaction of their students! Seeing students on a weeknight is the best way to get a feel for the experience. Plus, you may meet future classmates! I’m in contact with three other girls I met who are prospective students! I was able to talk to the dean of my major and understand different opportunities in it including conferences, clubs, and events.

Try to register for overnights of different colleges in close dates with each other! The last thing you want to do is wait five months and forget what you disliked from college A versus B. There’s a difference between touring as a visitor and experiencing as a student.

Below is my packing list:

  • Sleeping bag- Most colleges will probably suggest this or an air mattress if the dorms have space for it. My host had an extra bed that I slept on.
  • Clothes- an obvious one but, check the weather when determining between shorts and jeans!
  • Shoes- bring something comfortable to wear!
  • Toiletries- another obvious one but, it is easy to forget!
  • Pillow and blanket- make your sleep in a dorm experience a good and comfortable one!
  • Towel- easily forgettable!
  • Personal items- don’t forget the journal you write in before bed or any other things you need! This includes a phone charger, soap, toothbrush, and snacks if needed!

My host was friendly, and I met other college students while on campus and sitting in on classes. We exchanged numbers, and they told me their experience of the college. With this experience, prospective students can definitely see if the college is a good fit for them and if they fit with the school.

Websites I found helpful:

Thought Co. includes the stages of meeting your host as well as other tips I added to help better you understand how this time will go!

Her Campus 


I’d love to keep you updated with the latest posts! 😎

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.