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Amy's Great College Adventure (wall-of-texts abound)


amy

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First, I know I am being very rude for making a thread of my own on the same day Wind made a thread. Read his first!

Second, I just want a thread about my college search and (later) college experiences. I would totally appreciate advice and comments, since I can't talk to my family or friends at school about this. They're kind of too invested in it. My parents would tell me to go to a high-ranking college, my sister would want me to go to one in MA. My friends are so sick of college talk, since they're applying to all top schools.

That said, this is kind of a blog/journal too (I don't have an LJ). It wouldn't bother me at all if I end up posting random wallsoftext that people don't reply to actually. It is just nice to record it all!

Lastly please note that this Adventure will be at least 85% Angst-Free! =D

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December 11, 2006. Why I think I should go to a non-East Coast state school.

Summary: I think I should go far away, and not to a liberal arts college, or to San Francisco either!!

If you don't want to read long psuedointellectual rambling leave here now

Okay I am very nervous and excited about leaving for college! (Not angsty though! Very laid back.) The more time passes, the clearer it becomes in my mind that I can't stay in the East for college.

In a way, I think I already know all the East Coast would ever teach me directly. Today I was thinking about how Eastern I am, and I remembered all those little Eastern things I never think about in me, like the soft rugs and multicultural decorations in my grandmother's house. She was born in 1933, has always lived in Massachusetts and still owns the average-size house in Cohasset, very close to the ocean, that my parents grew up in. She was very intellectual, pretty, rich, and attended Radcliffe before becoming an unhappy and soon widowed housewife. I think now, though, she is happier than at any other time in her life - she has a boyfriend of ~10 years (i guess they're too old for a wedding but very committed to each other), she's extremely fit and in excellent health for someone of 75 years, and she's very active in her church. She dresses in a very modest and frugal, but at the same time appropriate way. She has a long maroon wool coat. Sometimes on weekends, she takes my sister and me for coffee at Dunkin' Donuts and tells us about how her minister keeps making syntactical errors.

She had two sons and two daughters (one of them was my mom) and I see all of them at least once a year. Two of them have written books. At Christmas we all drive to my grandmother's house by the ocean and she serves wine and things on botanical-pattern plates and we sit on the couch, under these giant still lifes of fruit I remember from when I was really little. She serves celery and radishes and strange dips before dinner. My uncles and aunts fight about current events and read the National Geographic. At my request this June they played Bob Dylan, which my grandmother had on a CD. The uncle that wrote the giant Mongolian Encyclopedia and my organic-type aunt were arguing about whether it was really bad that he had so many women. Then he sang the line "smoke rings of my mind", and my grandmother popped in from the kitchen, and said, "What a poet." So, that is my scattered Bostonian family.

I write all this because I know it makes me Eastern, like farming in Iowa makes you Midwestern. There are so many other things like the little condoned degrees of scorn, the wet bricks, the coffee, the parts of nihilism that people just let lie, and walking in Harvard Square at sunset. I sat in one of those buildings, though, and watched the real students enter their dorm. It was just a brick wall and a door. They were thin and wore serious glasses, very cold in their wool coats fumbling for the key, and finally they opened the door and slipped inside. I wanted so much to enter that warm hallway, but then I was 15.

Now, I don't know. The girl in the wool coat was probably on antidepressants. I go to a high school where all the students will be the students at Harvard, Brown, MIT, Amherst, Swarthmore, Wellesley (A friend of mine was accepted today!), and even Kenyon, Oberlin (especially popular), University of Chicago, that long rosary of Eastern education. And it is Eastern education, all of it. Reed is Eastern education too, as is Colorado College. Every single liberal arts college in the country gives you East Coast education.

I guess I feel like it could never change me the way I desperately want to change and become strong, the way I'm not, because I was born rich and lazy.

Uhh...and something else that pushed me off the "beaten path" was getting two really bad grades in first quarter, an Incomplete and an N for bad attendance (though i was only absent 3 times). So I can't get accepted to those Eastern schools even if I tried. XDD I am still applying for Brandeis University which is 5 miles from my house though, out of latent love for the Massachusetts coffee thing and the intellectuals and the liberalism

Another option that I know won't work out is the amazing Grinnell College, in Iowa. It's a LAC in the middle of Iowa and I think unlike all the other rural LACs (ugh kenyon gag), they have real community involvement and humility. No way I'm getting in though. Still filling out application.

>> NOTE: ACTUAL COLLEGE STUFF BEGINS HERE

So here's my backup plan.... I'm running away to the Great Plains!! South Dakota!! I have always loved the prairie!!!!

sdprarieayf0.jpg

I am applying to the University of South Dakota Honors program as well as the South Dakota State University. I don't know which is the better university. SDSU is bigger, but I hear it's also less serious. Gut feeling says USD.

http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/travel...uthdakota_m.gif

SDSU is in Brookings and USD is in Vermillion. Too bad, cause the western part of the state is by far the most beautiful. Rapid City only has the mine school and Black Hills State College, which even for this "adventure" I would be a little hesitant to go to. I dunno though, I'll look it up.

I am not expecting great academics. That's ok though, part of the learning experience will be not being a brat about it, and humbly learning yourself you know? I'll also get an awesometacular GPA for grad school.

I am definitely going to look into Native American Studies though. South Dalota is the place to go for that. I would love some kind of job that helped the situation. (Pine Ridge reservation is the poorest place in the US.) But they have an unemployment rate of 44% so maybe it is best to just leave it alone. White people can really only help as lawyers.

South Dakota state schools are so cheap!! 10k/year out of state, without any financial aid.

Worries, though: My dad's family is from Minnesota but I've never really been there, and I don't know anything about what the people are like. I don't think there will be people I can talk easily to. Probably I'll be very depressed sometimes. It will be stranger, maybe, than going to a different country. I'm just going to dive into it though, because I know all that can happen will be good in the end. When I go, I'll think, "I had no choice - I am so lucky for getting even this far."

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Listening to some of my friends out here, you'd think the East Coast was the source of all problems in the world.

And I guess Washington D.C. is out there so they're not far off... Anyway.

I always considered an important part of college to be the traveling. xD Then I went to a school that's practically on my doorstep in terms of distance (<100 miles), but still. I'm glad I did because I wouldn't want to be living off in Europe or another country and not be able to visit my girlfriend.

Wooh, tangent. Anyway, I'm sure you'll make the right decision; as long as you make the decision, and no one else does, it's the right decision.

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I love the Midwest/Southwest, %80 of my family is from oklahoma, so i think its in my blood. I hope to become a Master woodturner nad move out to the midwest in some small isolated agricultural community and find some of my relatives and turn for the rest of my life.

I don't know of many fantastic colleges there however.

I can't really tell you how people are in minnesota, but all the people i ever new from SD are dumb as rocks. They didn't know who JFK was, they thought he was some old school country singer like Hank Williams

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Hahaha oh no XD.

Is that really because they're dumb though or because of how they grew up? I know a girl who in freshman year didn't know Alaska was a state. But, she is really sweet and wonderful and leads a school club I am in. If someone says who JFK is, for the first time, are people from SD any less likely to remember than people from california?

I'm so excited about going to a state school not with the standard educated suburban children. Even though I am one myself

Good luck with your dream Rocksteady!! I had to look up what a woodturner was. Much admiration for doing that same thing your whole life.

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Amy- I might go to grad school in North Dakota. We'd almost be neighbors! XD

Ok, so the thought of going to school in North Dakota scares me but houses are cheap. ^^;;

Anyways, I think going a little outside of your comfort zone is a great idea. It's amazing how much you learn from living in different regions, even within the U.S. I'm from the south, live in the midwest, and spent part of the summer visiting family in MA. It was really interesting, and Attleboro has an awesome mall. *cough*

How are you at adjusting and being away from home though? College can be really hard for some people the first year, and it's just something you may want to consider. I think you are more than deterimined enough to be fine with it though. :)

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Awesome go for it! What are you studying? Yeah, real estate is ridiculously cheap. I bet if we did that, and drew a direct line between us, there would be nobody on that line. We might even be able to see each other out the windows. "HI, DREAMER! HOW IS IT UP THERE!? COLD???!?!? YA SAME"

I don't know if I'd be good at adjusting (never had to really) but I'd probably manage. I'm not exactly Mastodon Of Life (har har) in Massachusetts anyway.

I was looking at the food menu for black hills state though...I definitely cannot adjust to that without also adjusting my clothes. They serve like no vegetables and dessert with every meal x_x

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Awesome go for it! What are you studying? Yeah, real estate is ridiculously cheap. I bet if we did that, and drew a direct line between us, there would be nobody on that line. We might even be able to see each other out the windows. "HI, DREAMER! HOW IS IT UP THERE!? COLD???!?!? YA SAME"

I don't know if I'd be good at adjusting (never had to really) but I'd probably manage. I'm not exactly Mastodon Of Life (har har) in Massachusetts anyway.

I was looking at the food menu for black hills state though...I definitely cannot adjust to that without also adjusting my clothes. They serve like no vegetables and dessert with every meal x_x

Ha! If it's anything there like it is here you are going to be ridiculously pleased with how skinny you'll be compared to most of the people there! XD Seriously, while my mom and I were in Massachusetts we couldn't figure out where the fat people were! o_o;; They eat wayyy too much in this state though.

Some type of psychology degree. Right now I have a clinical concentration, but I'd really like to do criminal psychology and become a profiler. I don't really know where I'm going though. Most likely see what programs they have and pick one that sounds interesting. ^^;; I'm really bad at choosing things like majors/degrees.

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Yeah in MA I am the fat kid xD It kind of sucks. Am in the same boat with majors, BIOLOGY was on my hand for a week because if I didn't have it there I'd screw up and write two different plans on the application and essay.

Profiling sounds fun but the fact that job exists is weird Dx

Brandeis is such a wonderful school! I took a tour and I love it so much!!! It's hard to explain, but the whole thing has such a distilled spirit of concentration and intellectualism and the Eastern cynicism that has pervaded the country.

I think you just have to suck it up and pay the Mass. tuition, or force it on your parents. Most parents here are definitely willing, if not able, to pay 30k/year for that Brandeis bumper sticker. When I was at Brandeis though, I did see many posters advertising a meeting of Brandeis Democrats (is there anyone else there) for more reasonable tuition financing. They do not give a lot of aid. Generally the kind of people that have to worry about tuition go to Umass Amherst which really does have many elements of the other Eastern schools, though I imagine it's more expensive out of state. Aforementioned uncle went to UMass and he loved it, and wrote a book. Happy ending!

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December 17, 2006. ANGST!!!!

Summary: AUUUGHHH!!! Forget what I said in the first post about no angst

Sooo TRANSCRIPT REQUEST FORMS ARE DUE TOMORROW!!! These are the school's forms, they send your grades and a guidance recommendation letter and a few other things about the school.

It's so confusing.

I have so many college application issues right now. It's very hard to ask my parents for required things like manila envelopes - my mom always acts like I'm asking wrong and tries to make me feel guilty. And I just realized that I needed parental approval way in advance to have my transcripts sent out from the high school! The deadline is tomorrow, but the approval would have had to clear from up to a week ago. Unless I can arrange something with my guidance counselor, I won't be able to meet any of the deadlines - the office only does forms once a month. I'm kind of bitter I guess, because everyone else's parents I know is helping them with college apps, but my parents are just telling me to do it myself, even the financial aid forms. I'm just going to fake their Transcript Status Form and write it by hand rather than print the computerized form, so they understand where I intend to apply although I can't actually request xP

I'm at least very lucky my parents can buy me things like envelopes at all, and support me going to college. Plus my guidance counselor is so sweet, I'm sure we can work something out.

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No we just make fun of our state school. XD It's kind of funny. We also make fun of Walla Walla Community College in Washington.

That's great that they accept tons of people though. It seems like lots of people i know just want a cute LAC where they can have intellectual friends and classes without stressing over grades.

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  • 4 weeks later...

January 13, 2007. Doin' the bureaucratic shuffle!

So, today I finished applying to schools. I only ended up applying to 4 because I was missing an SAT II for Brandeis.

Here are my schools in order of top choice.

1. Grinnell College

2. University of South Dakota

3. Umass Amherst

4. Earlham College.

I'd actually rather go anywhere than Earlham. XD; It's just the token LAC to please my family.

I wrote my essay about how my parents are opposite politically but both striving for the same ideal world. Then I went on to say that everyone has deep beautiful moral motivation and that I want to see everyone with that compassion for my whole life.

I don't expect at all to get into Grinnell. I do expect to get into USD, which will override the second two schools.

Everything seems so simple and angst-free about this process now that I'm done!

My grandma and my dad are taking me out for dinner separately as congratulations on finishing these. \m/

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January 14, 2007. OH SHI -

I just realized there was a misplaced comma on my essay! T___T;

~~~~~~~~~~~```q

I wanted to go to Brandeis too, it would have been my first choice, but I don't think I'd be able to really fit in, even if I went.

grinnell is the only rural midwestern LAC, as far as i can tell, that has any respectful engagement with the land and people of its location as equals, rather than "oh you poor people, let me tell you about organic vegetables."

I did have fun :hardgay:

I had 3/4 of it left over though

AND THE NEXT MORNING WAS GONE DX

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  • 2 weeks later...

January 25, 2007. Peremptory decision!!

I've decided on THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA!!!!!!

8220_big.jpg

*communicates with wolf spirit* XDD JK It's a coyote.

I've been telling everyone too. The more people I tell the more locked in I am. It's good to be locked in to USD!

Oh about that. You don't call it USD because that's San Diego. You call it..."The U." I'm waiting on actually using that term until I figure out whether anyone there actually calls it The U.

I was still thinking about alternatives and Umass Amherst until tonight I was at karate and Taleen and Ryan were talking about Umass - they both go to state schools - it was all "well do you remember shelley?" "yeah she's at salem" "we hung out" AHH XDD NO PLEASE NO

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  • 3 weeks later...

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