By the time I figured out I was truly interested in Grove City College, I already felt overdue to have an overnight visit there. At that time though, it was already nearly April of my senior year. Who would take me in under such short notice? And how could the experience be anything but stressful?
To my delight, all my fears and doubts were squashed in a few short days.
My mom and I reached out to Grove City, and they connected me with some girls here who lived in a suite together. They offered to take me in for a night, and in no time, we had a date planned on the calendar for the visit. As if that was not enough, Grove City also organized multiple classes for me to sit in on during my trip. They even opened up doors for me to talk to specific professors in the major I was considering.
Instead of being scared, I was now excited. For the first time in my college search, I felt like things were actually falling into place.
I live about eight hours away from the college. On the morning of the day I would do my overnight, my mom and I drove all the way there in one trip. When I arrived on campus for the first time, the girls I connected with met me in the parking lot with smiles and hugs. They were so kind. Throughout the day, I had all my class and professor meetings. I felt like a superstar – every professor made sure to get my name right and remember it. Even the students I met during my class visits seemed to go out of their way to make me feel at home.
As the day went on, the girls took me to a worship service, campus Zumba, and watched a movie with me. That night, one of the girls I was staying with—Kimberly—gave me her bed to sleep in while she slept on the floor in a sleeping bag. I protested, but she insisted. The next morning, the girls ate breakfast with me at Mary Anderson Pew Cafeteria and we all had a good talk about life before I had to go back home.
I often think back to that first, 24-hour experience I had at Grove City. The trip there felt uncertain and scary. The trip back felt calm. My overnight was a definite turning point for me for so many reasons. I was able to experience the College’s beautiful campus, its top-notch classes, and some of the flourishing clubs and activities it offered students. Most of all though, I was blessed by the goodness of the people I met during that time.
If you can find the time during your college search, I encourage you to reach out to your top schools and try to organize an overnight with them. I was amazed by how much I learned about my school and my hopes for my college experience during my short overnight. It turned out to be one of the most important trips I could have taken at that point in my life.