What’s Your College “Admission” Story?

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Paul Rudd went to the University of Kansas, where he majored in being likable (probably).


Search for any description of Paul Rudd or Tina Fey, and that word will probably appear (don’t actually search; we’re basing this purely on assumption).


While their new movie Admission looks as delightful as them (we may get some disagreements on this), the process its title eludes to isn’t always so nice.

So, with this movie hitting the box office—and college acceptance letters hitting mailboxes across the U.S.— it seemed like the perfect time to ask our editorial staff our latest burning question: What’s your college “admission” story?

Here’s what they had to say.

Susie Boretti

You know that feeling in your gut when you first see something, go somewhere, or meet someone that tells you that it is perfect? That is how I felt the minute I walked on Bentley’s campus back in 2006! The whole process of applying, interviewing, and talking to my (future) swim coach was so exciting to me, so when I found out I was definitely in, it was the greatest feeling in the world! It was definitely the best choice for me! So good that I decided to stay an extra year ….

Mike Restiano

When all the letters had come in, it boiled down to a choice between Tufts and Boston College. I literally though that I was going to BC until the day before deposits were due, when I went to a Tufts April Open House just to see what it was all about (again). I instantly fell in love with the school’s atmosphere and diversity in a way that I hadn’t on the tour. Just goes to show you those April events for admitted students are key in the decision-making process!

Diane Melville

I had three admissions periods in my life! That’s what made admission memorable for me.

1: As a high school student, I applied to a few local schools. I got into all of them (whew), but I got very little financial aid (booo). I then decided to go to community college!

2: After community college, I applied and was accepted into Tulane University as a biomedical engineering major. However, I realized quickly (like 4 weeks quickly) that the school wasn’t a great fit and that I didn’t want to be a doctor anymore. Back to community college!

3: I completed a few courses to make myself into a business major. I flew all the way to Boston from Miami just to interview with my top choice, Babson College. When I received my “fat letter” in the mail from them, I felt a great sense of relief: I had finally found my school!

Sarah Barker

Things were simpler back in the day. I think I only applied to about five colleges—but each application had to be typed … on a typewriter! I know I’m a dinosaur, but when you have to correct all typos with white out, you’d be crazy to apply to 10+ colleges.

Anyway, I chose Stephens College because it had a great fashion design program. But once I got there, things changed quickly. Within a week, the small, women’s liberal arts college in the cornfields of Missouri felt too small. Worse was that, I needed to be able to draw to be a fashion design major—this was a serious problem!

So, after a trip on spring break to Boulder, Colo. to see my big brother, I discovered the eye candy was amazing (and the mountains were beautiful too). With 20,000+ kids and a ton of majors to pick from, I decided to get out of Missouri as fast as you can say Rocky Mountain high …

Ryan Lane

It boiled down to UMass-Amherst and Syracuse. I chose UMass because it meant no loans and a car from my parents (I prioritized the latter even though I don’t drive). I sat with them at the kitchen table and shared my decision. My mom retorted: “pick again.” “Syracuse?” She nodded her head. It was the right call. Apparently, I wasn’t meant to be “money savvy” until after college.

Shane McNichol

There are three pieces to share about my admission story.

1. As we made the rounds of tours and info sessions (I ended up doing eight of these), my dad kept telling me that I’d know which school I wanted to go to the second I stepped foot on his campus—and he was right. When I visited Boston College, I knew right away.

2. I was accepted off the waiting list, which is so stressful. I definitely have the cliché memory of receiving the letter. The suspense of that moment has dwindled with acceptance letters becoming bigger and more elaborate (one school sent me a hat with my acceptance letter), but the excitement was still very much there for me.

3. I found out after the fact that my mom had been opening all my acceptance and rejection letters, then resealing them before I got home from school. I’m still not really sure how to react to this news.

Bridget Casey

Ah, I feel left out of this one. This part of the college experience is nearly non-existent in Canada. The best schools are public institutions, which means their admissions requirements are less ridiculous than some of the top-tier private institutions in the U.S.

Furthermore, the rungs of the prestige ladder are a lot closer together here: Every provincial university is considered more or less equivalent to another, so nearly all students elect to study at the university closest to their home. Some will go elsewhere, but it’s rare and generally viewed as not worth the hassle.

I don’t even remember my admissions letter. I think I just logged on to the university system and noticed my status had been changed to “admitted.” Boo.

Sasha Laferte

I applied to Emerson early-action. While other students were scrambling to perfect their college essays or coax their teachers into finishing letters of recommendation on time, I was speeding home from school every day to check the mailbox.

I rushed home as usual and checked my mailbox to no avail. I entered my house to my mom sitting on the couch, a tear obvious in her eye. I could see a torn envelope and a collegiate looking letter on the counter. My heart sank.

I rushed over to the letter. “Ms. Sasha Laferte, I am pleased to announce….” I looked at my mom. “I’m sorry honey, I couldn’t wait. I’m just so proud of you.”

In other words, my mother gave me heart palpitations on my acceptance day and I will never be the same. I love you, Mom.

All right, readers, now it’s your turn. Share your admission story in the comments below.

(Photo: Wikimedia)

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  1. Shane McNichol March 25, 2013 / 3:24 pm

    Sasha, sounds like my mom could teach your mom a lesson about glue and lying.

  2. Janese Silvey March 27, 2013 / 2:47 pm

    Great stuff – I’m looking forward to the movie! As a spokeswoman for Stephens College, though, I must clarify Sarah’s description of Columbia, Mo. Our city has certainly grown over the years, and today, our population tops 100,000 (hardly a cornfield!). And with a major research university in Columbia, we have more than 34,000 college students roaming around!

    Stephens is still a small, liberal arts college–and we like it that way (hey, if you’re going to pay for an education, you should get individualized, personal attention).

    Also, technology has changed since the days of typewriters, and that applies to fashion design, as well. While drawing skills are certainly valuable, if you have an eye for fashion and know how to sew, you can design!

    Thanks for mentioning Stephens College and letting me clarify some of the information.

  3. Sarah Barker March 27, 2013 / 4:56 pm

    Janese, thanks for your note and sorry if I inadvertently offended Stephens or Columbia! Stephens College is a great small school with a gorgeous campus, and has a lot to offer. The fashion design program is top notch. And I realized, after transferring from Stephens to a much larger university, that there is definitely something to be said for Stephens’ small classes with professors who know you. Also, putting my experience of transferring to CU Boulder in context, just prior to arriving at Stephens, I had spent six weeks backpacking with NOLS in the Rockies. Somehow I couldn’t shake the call of the mountains so I headed back west.

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