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How She Chose Carleton

July 12, 2011 at 11:47 am
By Dana Mackey '12

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. Earlier you heard from Annie, and now Dana Mackey '12, from Massachusetts:

I knew I wanted to go to a small school. That’s all I knew. Out of nervousness and general stress, I had put off my college visits for as long as my parents would allow. It was June 2007, and I had to meet my fears. I made my way to Boston’s Logan airport to board a plane destined for Minneapolis/St. Paul. After a two-hour flight and a one-hour drive, I found myself standing on the Bald Spot.

Carleton was the first school I visited. It ended up being the only school I loved. A senior student gave us a tour of campus; she was a swimmer, a dancer, and an articulate speaker. I thought she was incredibly cool. I felt comfortable walking around campus and could see myself as a student in Northfield. My current softball coach, Amy Erickson arranged to have lunch with me over my campus visit. She told me that Carleton was a place that “fits athletics around academics, not the other way around” and that the school “values the academic part of every athlete.”  This philosophy really appealed to me.

The last night of my visit, I went out to dinner in Minneapolis. The city was more artsy and alive than I ever imagined it to be! Plus, my steak was incredible. I was excited at the opportunity to spend four years in driving distance of such a fun city.

Two days after arriving on campus, I boarded a plane headed back to Boston. Throughout the rest of that summer, I sat through 12 more college information sessions and walked through 12 more college tours. Rationally, I tell myself I chose Carleton because I wanted to leave New England, I liked the softball coach, and I had fun in Minneapolis. While those three things might be true, I think I just felt happy walking around campus. Everything else fell into place.


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