“The GU Guide” is Edge’s newest blog where Gannon tour guide Jake Slease will lead you through Gannon’s campus and the college experience.

I ask for only 15 seconds of your time. In the next 15 seconds, think of three things you learned during your freshman year in high school. Go.

That’s what I thought. Maybe you are an overachiever and remembered three distinct ideas or principles that you learned when you were 14 years old. Chances are you didn’t get past the first one.

OK, now I ask for only 10 seconds. You can spare 10 seconds, right? Name three characters from the television show “Family Guy.”

Right! Chances are you guessed Peter, Lois and Stewie. Maybeb you are a Meg fan, or you named that creepy old guy.

What’s the point? This illustrates a life principle that I believe is important: character is infinitely more compelling that content.

People can’t rattle off more than a few words from it, yet everyone knows the man who spoke the Gettysburg Address. I would argue that the most riveting aspect of the “Star Wars” saga is the way Darth Vader’s character changes throughout the movies, not the galaxy far, far away.

This idea of character plays an important role when it comes to college visits and college in general. From the first time you step foot on campus to when you leave, what character impressions will you give?

The fact checkers of the world will know what you accomplished by looking at your degree. But a degree is just paper that says very little about how you earned it. Your high school transcripts may be golden, but they say so little about the person you are.

When you, as a prospective student, come to Gannon for a visit, you will meet a lot of people. The other tour guides and I (collectively called the Gannon Guides) will greet you as you enter the admissions building. We are your liaisons to Gannon’s campus and student life. We will be the ones who give you a tour of our campus, along with answering your questions about the classes, student life and the campus. (Yes, I already know your mom will ask me about the food and your dad will ask me about safety – it’s inevitable.)

You will then meet your enrollment advisor. Your enrollment advisor will be there to facilitate the application process, along with all the “business” items associated with college. Just because they’re concerned with the business side of things doesn’t mean they don’t have fun. Don’t be afraid to show your character to them. Ask questions even if you think they’re odd. Assuredly they have heard them all.

Your end goal as a visitor is to leave Gannon fully informed and with an understanding of what Gannon is all about. Along the way, show your character and be talkative. I’m sure you will feel a little weird if you went on a college tour with a list of questions, but tour guides will secretly love you.

If you are an engaging, talkative person, the mood will be reciprocated right back to you. The most memorable tours a guide can give are the ones where they are answering questions nonstop. As a tour guide, I love these kinds of tours. When I connect with a family, it makes the tour more impactful. The family walks away with a great idea and memory of the campus and I walk away feeling good that I might have impacted their conception of Gannon.

These tours are not possible if you are afraid to show your character. Too many times have I gone out on tour and the family refuses to interact with me, as if I have some deadly disease.

So, as you continue on your college search, I ask that you begin to do the talking. I might have a good idea of what you want to see on Gannon’s campus and what you want to know more about, but you have the power to make the tour personal and memorable.

Preview our campus using our Click Thru GU posts here.