A Spring Blitz Q&A with Clemson campus tour guides
Spring Blitz is one of the biggest and best times of year on Clemson’s campus. For two weeks, prospective students and their families flood campus for tours and information sessions to see if Clemson is the best place for them. To help prospective students prepare for their visit, we sat down with two of Clemson’s tour guides —Neyle Noyes and Sarah Grace Woolley — and asked them how to make the best of Spring Blitz.
What information did you want to know when you toured Clemson as a prospective student?
Neyle: I wanted to know more about study programs because in high school, I needed that extra help in a few classes. I wanted to know that if I were having trouble in the classroom, there would be someone there to help me figure out how to be successful.
Sarah Grace: I took tours to get a feel for the students. I would do a lot of research about the colleges before I visited, so I was prepared to take in all of the information the tour guide gave me as well as the atmosphere and culture that the school presented. Information about universities is readily available online, but the “feel” of a school can only be found on campus.
Why did you choose Clemson?
Neyle: My grandfather came here when Clemson was a military college, and since then, my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings have all attended. I grew up hearing about all the stories they had, and I wanted to have a few Clemson stories of my own.
Sarah Grace: Clemson perfectly combined two of the most important aspects that I wanted to find in a college: A small town feel with an emphasis on college athletics. As a huge sports fan, I knew I wanted to experience the excitement of a packed football stadium and the rush of a basketball player hitting a 3-point shot. Clemson also has the great addition of inclusive, family-style tailgating — every single Saturday.
What’s the best thing about being a tour guide?
Neyle: Seeing prospective students and their families get excited about Clemson for the first time is definitely my favorite part. Helping my students find that excitement is an experience that words can’t really explain.
Do you remember your first visit to Clemson?
Sarah Grace: My first visit was actually my campus tour! I had visited three or four other schools over spring break, and Clemson was the last stop on my way back home to Charlotte, N.C. It was pouring rain, freezing cold, and I wasn’t dressed for the weather. However, I left campus that day with the hopes of being a Clemson Tiger because of the amazing experience that my tour guide gave me.
You were a guide last year. Can you describe the Spring Blitz experience?
Neyle: Electric. There’s always something to do, something to experience, and everyone involved is just burning with that Clemson spirit. As a guide, I want to give as many tours to as many people as I can during Spring Blitz so I can share Clemson with as many people as possible.
Sarah Grace: The tours I gave during Spring Blitz last year are among my favorites. Each group has so much energy and excitement. The questions and concerns during Spring Blitz are much different than during tours in the fall or winter — they focus more on student life and day-to-day logistics, which is great. By the end of Spring Blitz last year, I had classmates ask me if I wore my tour guide polo every day!
What makes Spring Blitz different than a regular campus tour?
Neyle: There’s all kinds of other opportunities going on like housing showrooms, specific college meet and greets, and much more. Spring Blitz really helps you get a better feel for certain programs we have.
What are the top three things parents and students should do to get the most out of Spring Blitz?
Sarah Grace: 1. Go on any of the optional tours! You can see residence halls, Fike Recreation Center and tour specific colleges such as Architecture, Arts and Humanities or Business and Behavioral Sciences. For some tours you need to sign up in advance, so be proactive in planning out your trip.
2. Stop a random Clemson student and ask them why they came to Clemson. I have full confidence in my classmates to give great reasons on the spot.
3. Eat a meal on campus! You’ll get to experience our day-to-day dining options here on campus, and you’ll get an even better feel for what students are like outside of the classroom. I’d recommend getting a buffalo chicken wrap from the Grill in the Eastside Food Court. They’re so addictive that you’ll have to come back to Clemson just to get another!
What is your favorite thing to do on campus?
Neyle: My favorite thing to do is hear the Tillman bells play during the day. It’s a very simple thing, but it gives me a sense of comfort and slows the busy pace of college life down. But ultimately, it reminds me of how these hills are home.
Sarah Grace: I love walking across Library Bridge on my way to class. You can see all of campus from the bridge, and the view of the reflection pond is incredible.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
Neyle: Clemson House because that is where I started my Clemson career. I lived there freshman year, had staff meetings and end-of-year lunches up in the penthouse and still play basketball on the court up there. Being there is just like walking down memory lane.
Sarah Grace: I love the Academic Success Center. As one of our newer buildings, it is very modern and provides a lot of additional study space.
What is your favorite Clemson tradition?
Neyle: Move In Day! This is a tradition that involves the entire family: students, faculty, staff and families. They all work together to help the freshmen move into their rooms and get them and their families settled in and comfortable. Plus, I get to carry futons up 10 flights of stairs. Where else could you get that kind of a workout?
Sarah Grace: As a senior, I adore my Clemson ring. Once you attain senior standing as a Clemson student, you can order your ring. There is a big ceremony to receive your ring, during which the president personally gives you your ring! I wear mine every day.
Can you give three words of advice for potential students?
Neyle: No, but I can give two: “Time management”
What is the most important thing you’ve learned at Clemson?
Neyle: “Work hard, then play hard.” You can do both as long as work comes first, but you need both those aspects to have a successful college career. If you’re not having an enjoyable experience, you’re not having a college experience.
Sarah Grace: Clemson has taught me the importance of having meaningful relationships. The friendships I have made here provide support and challenges in a way that I believe only Clemson students can do for each other. They will far outlast my four years at Clemson.
How would you sum up the Clemson experience in one word?
Neyle: Family. Everyone has a genuine love and respect for one another and it all feels like one massive family.
If you could do it all over would you choose Clemson?
Sarah Grace: Without a doubt! Clemson has made me into an even better person than I could have imagined and has given me experiences I would never trade.