Saturday, June 28, 2014

They Know What They’re Talking About

Advanced Studies Program interns get ready to start the college workshop.
On Tuesday, June 24th, a panel of interns sat on the stage of Memorial Hall and gave advice to the college hopefuls of the Advanced Studies Program.

I settled in for what was sure to be just another night of everything I had already heard: the inevitable conversations of how to choose a college and the consistent cliche lines about how walking on the quad helped to make the final decision,

When the dialogue began, I slouched into my chair and mentally said “I told you so,” to myself. I prepared for a long night of repetition. But as I listened yet again to the advice of college students, I heard something that caught my attention; “Dream School.” I immediately sat up as listened to a viewpoint that I had never considered before. 

Having a “ Dream School” isn’t a bad thing, but assuming that it is the only college for you could be devastating. “A school wasn’t built for you,” said Jonathan Lemay a rising senior at Skidmore College.

Of course a college wasn’t built for any of us, saying so was just a figure of speech. As the conversation continued I thought about this statement. Was having a “Dream School” a problem for me? Could I end up crushed by rejection like the people who were sitting before me?

Reality struck me in the second row of Mem Hall like a lightning bolt. A dream is just a hope or a fantasy that hardly ever comes true, so the same rules might pertain to the “Dream School.”

Avoiding the awful realization that I needed to look at more schools, I continued to listen to the advice of these people who clearly could tell me things that I didn't know. They advised that if you did have a “Dream School” you should look at schools that have similar traits and then choose ones that fit well.

“Concentrate on the characteristics of the school rather than its name or reputation,” advised Sydney Skinner, a graduate of the University of New Hampshire.

This got me thinking of the times when had I dismissed a school because of it’s name or what I had heard about it. The perfect college fit could be one of the schools that was written off a while ago.

“There’s no right way to do college,” said Ian Kenison, a Kenyon College graduate.

Everyone’s process will be different. Ultimately you are going to end up at the school that you are meant to be at. Do not try to rush the system. Take time with your college list and make the best choices for you and your abilities.

While the college workshop was sometimes redundant, there were a few hidden gems of advice that shone light on topics that in my mind had never brought up before.


  1. This is really helpful to students who didn't attend. You're voice came through really well and your quotes fit perfectly. This will probably result in more students attending the next workshop

  2. Really cool to see that this wasn't a "this is what my college is like" kind of things. Maybe I'll go to the next one!

  3. I really liked this article. It encourages people to go to the next one as well as give information on what was said. I also liked the "sass" you gave and voicing our opinions on what the session was about. Overall, really good job on making a boring topic into a very insightful article :)

  4. Nice article, Sami! I liked your use of first person narrative because it made the experience seem relatable. All of us at ASP are on the same boat with college. Good use of quotes and verbs, can't wait to go to the next workshop! :)