Things Only a Tour Guide Would Understand  

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Written by Cole Sterr

One of the student organizations that has truly enriched my collegiate experience so far is, without a doubt, the elite group that is known as the Admissions Ambassadors. As an Admissions Ambassador, I provide extra-mile customer service to prospective students and their families through the wonderful joy of giving tours of the campus. Even though I love giving tours, however, there are definitely some things that happen on tour that I’m not the biggest fan of, and I’m sure any tour guide would believe the same.

So, I decided to reach out to my fellow Admissions Ambassadors and tour guide friends to get a sense of all the things we tour guides have to withstand while on tour. Enjoy!

When you ask your tour group if they have questions, and they look at you with blank faces

Please guys ask me anything.

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When a parent asks you a question about something that you usually talk about later on in the tour and it throws you off

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When you’re out of breath while speaking

Sorry everyone, I apologize for who I am as a human being.

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When you’re running behind on your time and you start getting stressed

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When you’re waiting at a crosswalk, and it’s taking forever for it to give you the signal to walk, so you start making up a conversation

So, do you like cheese? My favorite’s gouda.

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When you’re walking by a construction zone and have to yell really loudly so that your tour group can hear you

SO MANY LOUD NOISES.

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When the residence hall tour guide won’t stop saying “dorm”

So, every tour groups receives a tour of a certain residence hall, with a residence hall tour guide, which is usually the student who works at the front desk. We as tour guides have to say “residence hall,” instead of “dorm,” while talking about the residence halls on tour. So, when the RESIDENCE HALL TOUR GUIDE refers to the residence hall as a “dorm,” it’s like a punch in the gut each time.

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When the residence hall tour guide steals your thunder and talks about something that you usually talk about later on in the tour

ALRIGHT BUT CAN YOU WALK BACKWARDS??!?!?!

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When someone asks you a specific question and you have absolutely no clue what the answer is

I’m sorry ma’am, but I do not know how many different types of flowers the university plants for the season. Absolutely no idea!

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When you have to say the full names of all the buildings on campus because prospective students don’t know what you’re talking about if you just say “the Rec” so you start tripping over your own words

So the Rec, er, I mean, the University of Minnesota Recreation and Wellness Center …

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When your tour group walks faster than you

Last time I checked I was the tour guide here? Like, excuse me, why won’t you let me guide you!?

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When your tour group can’t keep up with you and there’s 30 feet between you and the group

You do realize that you’re getting a tour that requires you to keep walking, yes?

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When people on your tour ask you about their financial aid and scholarships

So, uhm, do you put one topping on your pizza, or two? Because I know that really makes a difference.

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When you blank on the name of a building

So on your right you’ll see this really cool building that has all these really cool resources and its name is also really cool but I’m just going to skip over it because I’m completely blanking on the name

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When the high schoolers on your tour don’t laugh at your jokes

I’M IN COLLEGE AND I’M FUNNY YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO LOOK UP TO ME GOSH LIKE SERIOUSLY?!

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When there are alumni on your tour and they act like they know everything

I know where that building hall is, it’s that way! No, sir, no it’s the complete opposite way that you’re pointing.

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When someone walks out of the residence hall bathroom in nothing but a towel and walks right through your tour group

This is uncomfortable for everyone.

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When a prospective student or their parent says you did a good job on your tour and it makes it all worth it

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Special thanks to all of my fellow Admissions Ambassadors and tour guide friends who helped me out with this blog. Keep on walking backwards fam!