If you visit us this summer, you'll meet with at least one of our Fellows. These rising seniors have shared why they chose Carleton, and we'll feature their comments throughout the week. You've already heard from Annie, Dana, Alex, Izzy, and Peter... and finally, Kayla Kramer '12 of Minnesota!
I grew up, from age 9 to 13, in the backseat of the family car traveling from one Minnesota Private College to the next. My older sister played basketball at Carleton and being the good little sister that I try to be, I only missed a handful of games during her career. That said I had been on almost every college campus I would eventually consider attending and applying to before I was in high school. I had a four year Minnesota Private College Week but never had a formal tour or information session at any institution.
Before my senior year of high school, I visited a number of colleges that I liked when I was younger. I checked out a few top out-of-state options but ultimately decided to stay in Minnesota. Fall of my senior year I had no idea where I wanted to attend but slowly trimmed down the list of options from 4 to 2 schools in just a few months. From there, I knew I would end up in Northfield but was unsure which side of the river I would reside on for the next four years.
After overnight visits at both schools, I came to realize a few things about Carleton that made my decision fairly easy. The opportunity to go to a top academic institution and continue playing multiple sports was something I could not pass up. The coaches at Carleton made it clear that I would be a student first, but would be competing in one of the most competitive conferences in the country (the MIAC). I also realized that if I were to play basketball at any school besides Carleton, it would be very difficult to study abroad because the season spans both semesters. The trimester system here made it possible to explore new places (which I took advantage of as a junior).
Another reason I chose Carleton was because it is in Minnesota but the student body was not predominately Minnesotans. At Carleton, I would be living amongst and having discussions with people from across the country and around the world. There would be a fair number of my fellow Minnesotans but I would be exposed to a unique mix of traditions, opinions, experiences, and backgrounds that seemed more specific to Carleton than other schools. The best part was that I could have all of this, yet my parents could still attend every game and I would have the option of going home occasionally if I wanted to.
The last defining factor in my decision-making process was the experiences I had on campus. I stayed with a student in the dorms during fall term and with a basketball player during Accepted Students Days in the spring. During those visits, I talked to many students in academic and social settings. The people and culture of Carleton set it far apart from the other school I was still considering. Carleton just felt right and I think the best way to make the college choice is to jump in and get a firsthand experience yourself. I could not be happier with the choice I made 3 years ago.