It's been a long time comin', but have reached the beginning of the road ahead. I am now an official Columbia student, even if it's just for the High School Program (H.S.P.).
But, we began the day with brunch. The Northern California admissions officer attended it with us, which was fantastic. The opportunity is unmatched in terms of value during the college admissions process. Typically, in my opinion, the real challenge of college admissions is painting an accurate portrayal of yourself. If I were an admissions officer, I would have a much easier time rejecting a statistic than a face, and that's what I hope to accomplish when I do apply. I want to create, if not an exact image, a reminiscent silhouette of who I am as a person and why I would be a great addition to the school in regards. And, when a prospective student is meeting and talking to the admissions officer responsible for their application, I can only imagine the genuine pricelessness associated with it. It kind of paints the picture for you. It lets that officer know you to a further extent than the narrow description of the application itself.
So, in my opinion, the opportunity was incredible. Alexander Richardson, the admissions officer, was incredibly down-to-earth and refreshingly humorous. Above all, he was able to provide us with advice that didn't exactly cater to what we have been hearing for the last 3 days--and the last 3 years. He described unique essays and how they tend to be not-so-unique. You see, it is not too difficult to stand out in one's writing, but when everyone is attempting to do the same thing, it's very simple to get lost in the details. And, suddenly, what would be considered thrilling and specific to that student is now considered banal and frequent.
Further, while I was very appreciative and really tuned into the conversation with the officer, it seemed slightly surreal. I say that because, to be frank, no--I don't see Yale admitting me.
Of course I will still try, and when I apply, I will do my absolute best. But, reality is not a term loosely defined, the concrete branches tend to stick in their rightful directions. The SAT average is 650-750, C's are immediate red flags, and E.D.'s hardly get a leg up on the already minute admittance rate. But, I will try. I do love the school, though. It's an incredible university, and it deserves its position in the nation.
So, after brunch ended, I was ecstatic! I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel, grab our luggage, and take off for Columbia University. When we arrived after an incredibly calm, yet potentially fatal taxi service, we immediately picked up our cards and keys alike and settled into our dorms.
I have a single in John Jay. I'm not thrilled by that in any way. I don't even have a suite style floor! But, I can deal. I was granted with a pretty personable hallway, so I'll focus on that for now as a deterrent from my roommate disappointment.
After dropping our bags off, we headed to the bookstore, grabbed a few things (chiefly, my highly-fashionable Columbia zip-up "hoodie"), walked back to our dorms, said goodbye to Mrs. L., and began to explore university life on our own.
I was thrilled.
There was about two hours to pass before dinner, so I mingled with a few of my floor mates: Chris, Alex, Kirby, Peter, Neil, Eric, Ed(ward), William (an imposter), Harry, Daniel, Andrew, Duresh, and my residential adviser (R.A.), Adam. I was surprised, yet excited that I was the only one from California in my hallway. The students flocked from much cooler areas: Dubai, Great Britain, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, France, and China, to name a few. The cultural clash was much more friendly than what usually would occur, and I was grateful for that. I feel like I will learn more outside of the classroom than inside of the classroom in the coming weeks, and I look forward to each grain of knowledge I can muster.
The night met its end socially: dinner, poker, volleyball, Frisbee, and talking, mixed with a brief intermission with our R.A. to bolt through some general guidelines--the works.
It's been a hectic, and fulfilling day. And, it leaves me even more excited for what it so come tomorrow. It really gave me a certain re-invigoration in terms of my Columbia dedication, and I know it will only get better. My early decision is safe with Columbia, and I am exhausted.
Today was as awesome as I expected. Tomorrow has some steep competition.