April 17, 2012

As for my first day of camp

....I mean "on campus. I doubly mean "Days on Campus." I triply mean "accepted students weekend." Yesterday and today there have/will be a host of activities for us prospective students - prospies. Now, let it be known that I have already chosen this college for sure. The deposit is in, there is no going back. Early this month I was wrestling between three colleges, but honestly I knew in my heart of hearts which one I would end up chosing, and going through the charade of visiting schools I loved but knew I didn't love the most wasn't really productive. Too many things about the school I chose fit me and my priorities exactly. It's perfect. But then, of course, the night after I committed, buyer's remorse set in. I was worried that the administration was too distant, students were too fratty, everyone regretted coming here, and the core requirements were too old school and time consuming. Now, I knew and I know that these were all nervous anxieties, mostly fueled by obscure posts on college forums. It didn't help that the first time I visited here, it was winter and everyone was dark and depressive and I was really turned off by the vibe.

All right. I just realized how silly it was that I'm being so evasive about where I'm going. It will define my next four years. Columbia University, here I come!

It's strange and a little scary to go from weighing the pros and cons of other schools I was accepted into and feeling buyer's remorse to really accepting that none of the other schools that I obsessed over for so long are relevant any more. That next year I will be going to Columbia. One school. To go from an infinite number of possible futures, to a narrowed down list once results rolled in, to just one. It's so much more real and tangible.

Days on Campus was really great. From student panels, to master classes, late night bus tours of Manhattan, touring The Spectator, and staying over with a host, I kept meeting people who were just fascinating. There were so many eclectic people - diverse not only in nationality and ethnicity, but in experiences, interests, and personalities. All the stereotypes I had heard through the grapevine were just so inaccurate. So many of the Columbia students I met loved the Core Curriculum, had awesome concentrations and majors, lots of internship experience, and led really cool student groups. I guess I would call them "socially bookish."Plus now there are so many activities I see myself really involved in: Orchesis, the dance group, CUPAL, The Spectator, etc. I'm most scared about learning how to balance everything - the classes, the city, the internships, and the student organizations. I also really don't want to let all the opportunities Columbia offers slip through my fingers, like interning and working abroad. I just don't want to miss out! Four years is a long time, I know, but it just feels like everything is going to move so fast and before I know it, I will be graduating. I just want to feel like I really took advantage of the opportunity I have to be a Columbia student, and the doors that opens.

I went to a lecture by the woman who is the Chair of Literature Humanities, and something she said really kind of got me: "If you let it, the Core will fundamentally change you." That's how I feel about the next four years (we're getting into hardcore sentimentality here). It just feels like anything could happen, anything is possible, if only I let it. I can't wait.

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