Two years ago I was one of the high school seniors walking around this campus for Accepted Students Day, but looking back, it seems like merely a blip in my memory bank …
Maybe that’s because I only remained at the College for approximately an hour before asking my mom to drive me back home.
Seemingly the worst timing in the world, Accepted Students Day fell only a few days after I found out that I was rejected from my dream schools.
I had never ventured to this campus for a visit prior to that fateful day in April, so in my mind, there was no way it’d measure up to the others. Nothing could compare to Columbia University, right? (I was wrong, by the way.)
This caused my first impression to also be the worst impression.
As silly as it may sound now, I burst into tears as I looked out onto the College’s green grass and saw students clothed in medieval armor, complete with shields and swords, participating in a faux fight.
This seemed like a joke and only made me feel even more upset that this was the school I would be attending. I wanted someone to pop up with a sign that said they were “joust” kidding.
That day, after attempting to attend some presentation in the Library that I could not bear to sit through, I went in the bookstore to pick up a sweatshirt and then left immediately.
My rationale was that since I was “stuck” going here anyway, I would see the campus eventually.
This mental misstep prevented me from seeing potential in this place that I have now grown to love.
I never took a campus tour, which made it quite tricky that September when I had to sneakily carry around a map so that I could navigate my way to class. (The buildings all looked the same to me.)
While senior year of high school can be a stressful time, my theory is that the whole “finding the right college” process is a collision of luck and fate.
Many times during my freshman year, I had conversations with fellow floor mates or kids in my classes, which went something like, “I almost didn’t go to this school,” but the underlying message always wound up, “But, I’m so glad I did.”
To all the students and families that are here this weekend for the same reason that I was two years ago, my sincerest congratulations.
However, be cautious of following in my foolish footsteps (unless of course, you choose to go here and write for the paper, then I entirely encourage you to do that!). I mean, don’t make my mistakes of closed-mindedness.
Remember that first impressions are not everything, and wherever you wind up, it can become the home to your happiness, if you give it a chance.
P.S. I guess mothers do know best, because I only applied here after my mom insisted on giving it a shot. As a second-semester sophomore, I can now admit that she knew better than I did, and who knows if I’d have been equally happy anywhere else?
P.P.S. No offense to the medieval club. I think it’s cool how there are organizations on campus that appeal to all interests. Keep doing your thing!