Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Change of Heart

All of my blogs this year have mostly been summaries of my day, so I think I'm going to change things up a little(hopefully for the better) and focus more on analyzing the events that happen. One of the main things I've noticed these past two days is the difference between the ILC students and the other people on the tours and in information sessions. There are hundreds of students that travel to these schools with their parents and to me, the ILC students differ from them. Not to brag or be presumptuous, but it seems like we tend to me a lot more active in asking questions and taking notes. We're usually in front of the group during the tours and we're attentive throughout the visit. On the other hand, the other students are usually on their smartphones and their parents are the ones asking the questions. Maybe it's because they have that privilege of being able to see schools at any time, but it's really different. And sometimes I wonder whether they're even interested in these schools because it seems more like something that their parents want. I'm just glad that we have this opportunity with special perks like private dinners and tours too.

Going onto the tours, I still think that the tour guides make a big impact on visitors because they represent the school. The tour guide was informative and energetic, but I didn't really like the environment. The buildings are really similar to Harvard and there's so many cool programs, but it still seemed like something was missing. I did think it was interesting that study abroad was really accessible and popular to the point where some people even participated three times. And they have the best financial aid out of almost all the schools I know of. Families with incomes lower than 100,000 dollars don't have to pay tuition at all. By the end of the tour, I was almost positive that I was finally able to cross a school off my "must apply" list.
The entrance to the shopping area right off campus
The luncheon changed everything. I didn't think I would have changed my mind about Dartmouth, but I was so wrong. I sat in between Joon Baak and Eloise Dietz. Joon is a rising senior who is on the pre-med track and studies Spanish culture. In addition to his studies, he's a member of a fraternity, he knows how to play four instruments, and he studied abroad in Spain. He gave me tons of advice and information about his experiences, but he said something that really made me think for a second. Sometimes you aren't selected for certain schools because the admissions officers don't think the school is the place for you. It doesn't mean that you're not qualified or that they don't like you. And because they don't select you, you're able to attend a school that you really fit in. Dartmouth was his second choice, but he still likes it and it seems like he's done so much with what Dartmouth has been ale to provide to their students. Eloise, a rising sophomore, studies engineering. We didn't get to talk as much, but she talked to me about binding and not binding early admissions along with other topics. 
Eloise is on my left and Joon is on the right
I'm really glad that our cohort was able to have this special little luncheon because I would leave thinking that this isn't a school that I could see myself in. The students at the lunch really changed my mind. All of the people sitting with us have already achieved so much and it's great that Dartmouth is has such a strong support system for their students. I felt that I truly learned what a liberal arts college is today. And I feel like I can dive into the admissions process with less fear. Even if I am rejected to some of the schools I apply to, I really want to keep an open mind about attending a different college. It's difficult to be unaffected after a rejection, but making the best out of the college you end up attending is the most important thing. Just three more days of touring before we head to New York City! These past three days have been astonishing and the opportunities presented by these schools and the ILC seem to be never ending. 

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