It was a cold day with snow on the ground, but high school students and their parents still followed their tour guide around campus after trekking into Fort Collins from their respective hometowns.
Most were from Colorado, but one mother and daughter had travelled all the way from Reno, Nev. in order to experience what campus was like.
Over the next two hours, they would follow a looping trail. Starting from Ammons Hall, the tour group walked up the Oval, through the Engineering building and into the LSC.
The group then tried its best to stay together while making a crossing in the plaza amidst the masses going north or south between classes, and got a bit chopped up, but was able to re-circle after some unsure maneuvering.
The Computer Sciences building would be the next stop, then the library, next the Rec Center, a stop by Parmalee for a looksee and finally a walk back to Ammons. Every location came with an informative talk, maybe a personal story and some Q&A.
In the end, the tour guide stood in front of Ammons and told the story of how he, a man from New York, ended up here at CSU. As a child his father wanted him to go to CU, but when he came out to Colorado to tour colleges, it was CSU’s campus that drew him away from Boulder.
“I decided to become a tour guide, honestly because I would not have ended up here without my experience on the campus tour that I had as a high school junior,” said Will Reutemann, tour guide and senior communications major. “The tour really opened my eyes to what the school had to offer because I was really not considering it.”
The position of admissions ambassador is one of the most highly sought after on-campus jobs for students. Last year, 165 applied and 30 were hired, the year before that 180 applied, and only 13 were hired.
“I actually came through one of our visit day programs when I was a senior, and I had never heard of CSU before,” said Shelly Annemeier, senior assistant director at the Office of Admissions.
All types of students from many kinds of places come to take tours at CSU. Some of those on the tour that day had already been accepted to the university and others.
“I was really impressed, I was kind of hesitant at first, but now that I saw it, it’s a main consideration,” said Kayla Flom, a senior from D’evelyn High School.
Flom’s friend, who had also been accepted to CSU, agreed after the tour she was more likely to attend, but there would still be doubts.
“It’s gonna be a ridiculously hard decision,” said Sara Porter, a senior from D’evelyn High School. “For me, it’s whether I want a big school or a small school.”
One parent claimed he wanted to come along with his family to see if the university was a good fit. But he claimed no matter the university, college was a special time and place.
“This is like a magic place in life, man, for four years you’re surrounded by people that are your age, all doing the same thing and they’re doing positive things,” said Freddy Shapiro, a parent from Telluride.
Soon the tours will be done as the year comes to a close and the new freshman class will come in. For some it will be the first time they see the university, and they will get to appreciate the campus the entire tour that day remarked was beautiful.
Collegian Writer Matt Gabriel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.