As many prospective college students are considering Carleton among a host of other great schools, I thought this week would be an appropriate time to explain why I chose Carleton, and to describe in what ways my impression of Carleton has held true since arriving here last September. I always knew I wanted to go to a liberal arts college, mostly because of the attention that professors give to their students, as well as the unique sense of community that is fostered at a small college. I had previously attended a small high school, and really enjoyed the luxuries of small classes and a cohesive community. With this in mind, my college choice was between very similar small liberal arts schools.
When I toured Carleton for the first time, I got the impression that Carleton students really loved to learn. I also got the impression that these students would be happy and eager to tell me about whatever it was that they were learning. Despite its being the school that was farthest away from my home state, I really thought it had a unique atmosphere, and was worth looking further into. Given this impression I decided to do an overnight at Carleton. There wasn’t really anything special going on, the Sunday night that I visited, but I loved it all the same. Many people came up to me just to introduce themselves and talk with me. I saw the epitome of Carleton’s friendliness when, because of some logistics, I had to go to breakfast alone. I just sat down with a big group of Carleton students that I didn’t know. In an instant I felt entirely welcome, and truly like I could fit in. We ended up talking for a full hour before it was time for me to head to my classes, which were both rich in class discussion. After this overnight, I knew that even on an entirely ordinary day, I felt completely and utterly at home. I had some absolutely brilliant conversations, and very easily got along with the students I had met. After this experience, I decided to apply early decision, and haven’t looked back since.
As a follow up, this impression of Carleton students, classes, and professors was completely accurate after spending two terms here. Even from my very first day at Carleton, I just felt so incredibly welcome and at home. As I have chronicled in other blog posts, I have had many wonderful discussions with students here, both in class and outside of class. I have an absolutely amazing and supportive group of friends that accept me for who I am, and allow me to tell them literally anything on my mind. Even when everyone is working very hard, they are working hard together. At Carleton I have already been challenged in many classes, but it’s a challenge that I embrace. I also believe that at Carleton I have really grown as a person in a variety of ways. I have become far more confident, and perhaps more adventurous than my high school self. I have also really gotten to enjoy deeply learning about a wide array of topics.
For all those deciding on whether or not to attend Carleton, my biggest advice would be to visit and attend an overnight. If after your overnight, Carleton feels like home, definitely go with this gut feeling. For me at least, this feeling of fit has been entirely accurate to my experiences as a student. Many of the schools I looked at would have given me a great education and wonderful opportunities, but Carleton stands out to me because of its uniquely enthusiastic, welcoming, engaged, and intellectual student body. Life at Carleton is intense, but it’s a wonderful kind of intense. It is the kind of intense that involves staying up late talking to a friend about anything and everything, or playing a complex board game, or hiding from whoever is hunting you in assassins, or getting help from a fellow student on a difficult computer science concept the night before the test. It’s an intensity that involves a lot of laughter, an intensity that allows for a wonderful and fulfilling time.
If anyone has any questions about various aspects of life at Carleton, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you or help you make the most informed choice possible!