As the title implies, I have lost a bit of my voice today after conducting close to 30 interviews last weekend. This was the last chance to interview for regular decision. We conducted interviews in; Seattle, Portland, Santa Clara, Emeryville and Chicago, totaling 181 interviews. Go us! Most of my interviews were pretty good and it was a pleasure to meet all of you, but as I said, it is going to be tea for me for the next few days.
After conducting my 30 interviews, I realized that one questions kept coming up. Why did you choose Pitzer? So I figured I should tell my college search story. It is a perfect example of how a college visit can make or break a school, but might not always be a perfect representation of the school.
The first time I visited Pitzer I actually disliked the school because of the visit. In one day I visited Pomona, Claremont McKenna and Pitzer all in one day, in that order, doing tours and interviews at all three. Now that 5 years has past I can honestly admit that I was cranky by the time I got to Pitzer.
Once April 1 rolled around, I found out that I was accepted to my first choice school, which will remain nameless, and I was absolutely ecstatic. I went back and visited, for a second time, and completely changed my mind. The funny thing was that my first visit was what made me fall in love with the school and my second visit showed me that the school had everything I wanted, but wasn’t the right personality fit.
Since I then had no idea where I wanted to go, I started my search over again and came back to Pitzer for another visit. This time I saw everything I missed in my first visit. My second visit was on a gorgeous sunny day during the spring. It was right before finals, but students were still around campus and it felt like I had stepped onto the cover of a college guidebook.
I can still remember the exact moment I changed my mind about Pitzer. I was sitting on the mounds, the grassy area in the middle of campus, with three Pitzer students. One girl was outside tanning with a textbook almost as big as her head and two guys playing Frisbee. I jokingly turned to the girl and asked her why she had so much more work than the two guys. Before the girl could answer, one of the guys stopped and said, “No, I am in the middle of working on my thesis, but I just had to come outside and play 15 minutes of Frisbee.” Needless to say 15 minutes turned into half an hour, but then he went back inside, presumably to work on his thesis. After seeing this balance of work life and social life I stopped and looked around and realized that, without exception, every single person I could see was smiling. I figured if all these people can find a balance between work life and social life here and be this happy right before finals maybe I could be happy here too.
Once I got home, I started thinking about my visit and realized that I had floated between a number of different social groups and all of them were open. They all wanted to know my name, although some still called me prospie for convenience sake, don’t worry it is a term of endearment, they all wanted to know why I was interested in Pitzer and they all wanted to tell me about the school. No one was cliquey and everyone had positive things to say.
I was still nervous when I sent in my enrollment response card, this is the card you fill out saying what school you will attend, but from the moment I set foot on campus I knew I had made the right choice. I loved my college experience, obviously since I chose to remain at Pitzer after I graduated, and didn’t consider transferring once.
I hope my story is interesting. I know it sounds like something out of college book, but it really does happen from time to time. The message I want you to gain from this story, besides how awesome Pitzer is, is that sometimes you step onto a college campus and get that feeling that this place is home, but then you can still change your mind and other times you visit a school and since your timing is off you don’t get that feeling. Some people never get that feeling, but that doesn’t mean that the college you choose isn’t just as good a fit for you. So when you visit a college campus or are thinking back on your previous visits keep an objective frame of mind and know that there is more than one school that you would be happy at.
Now on to the winners of the Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen. Drum roll please.
The winners are
If you guys could all email me your addresses, do not post them on the blog, I can get your prizes in the mail.
Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor