I am visiting Franciscan University of Steubenville in a few days and spending the night in one of the dorms, what should I expect? I’m already planning to bring a towel and sleeping bag, but with regards to other people’s behavior, any thoughts, suggestions, etc.?
Speaking as a former professional in the field of Higher Education who worked at a Franciscan college (Briar Cliff in Iowa), I can say that you can, in general, expect to see a whole bunch of normal young adults acting like young adults.
I don’t mean that to sound flippant. Knowing the reputation of Steubenville, I’d say that you’re not going to see much “stereotypical” college behavior - don’t expect to see signs for parties at the Delta Pi house, for example. But as far as behavior, I think you’re going to see a whole lot of people at different stages of their faith.
My biggest suggestion: be yourself, and don’t try to act more (or less) pious than you truly feel you are. You want to find a college that truly fits your faith, your values, and your personality. You’re making a point of visiting Catholic colleges, so your faith and values are likely in-line with the missions of the schools. But each school has a different feel to it. Just like there are people at your school who may belong to your parish, you know you don’t mesh well on a personal level.
Remember, you’re going to potentially spend the next 4 years of your life at whatever place you choose.
Also, ask students who are not your tour guide about food in the cafeteria. Seriously. Sometimes schools pull out all the stops for recruits, and make you think you’re going to be feasting on Michelin Star food every day, when in reality it’s mostly chicken nuggets.
I know people who did campus education with Steubenville, and distance education with Steubenville, but just in terms of a generic campus visit, and presuming you’re part of a larger scheduled group of students who have been offered admission—
What’s your major? Often times, a university will have a luncheon or a dinner that has professors from your area of interest, where you get to chat with them in a social way about studying in their field. There might be 50 or 100 students, and everyone mills around with plates and nametags and makes small talk and drifts around. So have some intelligent questions to ask them, but don’t try to be too cerebral, if that makes sense. Have a nice conversation, but don’t use it as a platform to show off your erudition.
You might get a tour-- the libraries, the computer labs, the high points of the campus, etc. This is where the student center is, this is where the bookstore is, here’s a coupon.
You might get free stuff. Here’s a t-shirt that has our logo on it.
You’ll probably have a combination of adult interaction (ie, luncheon/dinner) and student interaction (ie, an upperclassman in a service organization might do the walking tour). Have a few questions about the kinds of extracurricular organizations that are important to you. Is it important to you to have special interest clubs (anime club, swing dance club, chess club), Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Greek social clubs, political clubs, academic clubs, sports clubs (karate club), cultural organizations, what?
Wear comfy walking shoes, but make sure they’re not the dirty shoes you mow grass in. Dress for the weather, but don’t skew either grungy or overdressed-- present yourself as neat and clean-- slacks and a button shirt are fine.
The first three subjects you usually cover when you first meet a student are (Name) (What’s your major?) (Where are you from?). Then the conversation can go on from there, depending on their answers. (What brought you to [here]?) (How long have you been here?) (What do you like best?) (What’s the best place to eat?) (What’s the best dorm to live in?) (etc.)
Good luck with your visit!
Indeed. Almost everything on FUS’s campus is uphill. Both ways.
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