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    A campus visit is a must when making your college choice.

    Crystal Flutur as told to Autumn Flutur

    A campus visit can be the most important step in choosing the college that's right for you. That's why Campus Life decided to tag along and find out what it's like.

    I packed my bags and joined my little sis, Crystal Flutur, then a senior from Ludington, Michigan, on her first-ever college visit. Our destination—Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Here's what Crystal had to say about her trip.

    keys to a successful college campus tour and visitI really didn't have any idea about what to expect from my visit. So when I pulled onto Calvin's campus early Thursday evening, I was pretty nervous. I checked in with the admissions office and sat down to wait for my host, Heather. What if she doesn't like me? I thought. I have to spend the night in her dorm room. I hope she's nice.

    A few minutes later she and a friend came to meet me. As we walked across campus to Heather's dorm, it was dark, so I couldn't see what anything looked like. Heather and her friend asked me a lot of questions along the way. They both seemed really nice.

    Once we got to Heather's dorm, she showed me around. I really liked it. People stopped in just to chat, and most were curious about me. They asked all kinds of questions about what I was interested in studying and what my initial impression of Calvin was.I thought I would feel out of place. But everyone was so friendly.

    That night we hung out at the student center. Some students were studying, but most were just having fun and talking to friends. A guy was playing some funky music on his keyboard. I don't know what I was expecting college students to do on a Thursday night, but I thought this place was pretty cool.

    We had to hurry back to the dorm for something called Late Night, which happens every Thursday night in Heather's dorm. Every week, someone from the dorm gets up in front of all the girls to share what God is doing in her life. Then she leads a devotion that usually applies to what's happening in her life—whether she's struggling with stress or is praising God for answered prayer. I was so amazed, sitting in that room with over 100 people from the dorm. Their honesty and openness showed me how much they support one another in their desire to live for God.

    By the time Late Night was over, it was almost midnight. We went back to Heather's room and talked a little bit before we fell asleep.

    Information overload

    Breakfast came at about 7 a.m. The cafeteria was pretty quiet as I made myself a huge Belgian waffle from the batter the workers gave me. I could get used to this all-you-can-eat buffet, I thought. The food was pretty good, but I didn't have too much time to enjoy it. I had to hurry if I was going to make the morning session.

    Heather walked me to my next destination, where I sat down in a room with about 200 other visiting students. We spent some time talking about where we were from. Someone from Anchorage, Alaska, had come to visit, along with a bunch of others from California.

    I would meet people from all over if I went to school here.

    An improv group came in and entertained us for a few minutes, but then we got serious. I was put into a group with about 50 other people. An admissions counselor talked to us about things like enrollment, tuition and the history of Calvin. Then we went to a chapel service.

    Church on a college campus seemed like a foreign idea to me. Since I'd never been to a Christian school, I didn't know that chapel wasn't just a Sunday morning service. Friday morning services were student-led, so we spent the entire time singing praise-and-worship songs. I guess this is a tradition on this campus. It only lasted for 20 minutes, but I felt uplifted after I left. The place was packed out and everyone was singing. It wasn't like Sunday morning, when a lot of people my age are there because their parents make them go. This service was optional. It was so cool to see people praising God together. And it was even cooler that they were there because they wanted to be there.


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