Virtual tours can't beat IRL

Photo:  Naveen Annam

Due to the many advancements in technology, proactive students can now start their college tour with a the simple click of the mouse a button.

Virtual college tours have taken over., and now CUNY has done it, too. As seen on the CUNY admissions website, immediately displayed is a wonderful array of photographs of all of the CUNY colleges. The photos illustrate the magnificent buildings with the right lighting.

On the Baruch College Undergraduate Admissions website, different tabs allow students to watch virtual tours led by real-life students. A video starts with the skyline of Manhattan, and then a student leads a tour of the Newman Vertical Campus. With such ease and accessibility online, who would need physical tours of any CUNY college? Wouldn’t that be a waste of time?

Online, the viewer is in the driver’s seat from the comfort of their own home with these virtual tours.

For example, by clicking on the website, there are categories students can pick from to explore the buildings through videos: excel, live & play, learn & grow, and
get support.

Though it may seem great to have these virtual tours, students interested in the school should still make an effort to visit the school in person.

This allows students to immerse themselves in the environment before starting their journey at the college they are interested in.

As most people know, social media is filled with photos and videos that often filter out what is real. Schools will always put their best images on social media to reflect their good qualities.

Even if CUNY schools look stunning online, students should not rely heavily on these photos and videos because the Baruch virtual tours do not show, for example, the 23rd Street building, which has broken elevators and noisy construction going on.

Without knowing these traits, students might feel as if the virtual college tours inaccurately represent the school’s identity. Ultimately, these college websites lack the real and true identity of the schools.

CUNY college tours should still be made available for students. These college tours give students a real feel in comparison to virtual tours. Students gain an idea of the commute to the college and with the physical tour, students can see for themselves how the school actually is.

By going on a physical tour, students can hear honest opinions about experiences from current college students and seek advice and information from the admissions office.

All in all, social media has always shown us the better version of ourselves, so it would be obvious that colleges would put their best foot forward online.

OpinionsAlison LuiComment