How Cutting Class Helped My Daughter Decide What College to Attend
By Charlene Harreveld on June 23, 2014
When it came to selecting colleges, Erica just wasn't feeling it. It was late September/early October and she really had no dream school or tingly feeling about going to any certain place. It wasn't for lack of trying. We have been touring colleges since the girls can remember. Most of our tours weren't official; we just visited whatever institutions just happened to be in the area we just happened to be passing through. We had t-shirts and decals from Harvard, Princeton, Yale, NYU, Julliard...you get the idea. We laughed when Adrienne was accepted to Duke because it was one of the few schools that we never visited. Heck, we didn't even have a Duke pencil. Nothing.
Since college applications are generally due late fall/early winter, things were becoming a little panicky. It's difficult to make a decision when the world is your oyster. Life is so much easier sometimes when you don't have too many choices. New York City? Virginia? California? England? Forget about Carmen San Diego! Where in the world is Erica going to apply to college?
And then one day, everything fell into place. The stars aligned, and her decision was made. She came home from school shedding happy tears. She found the place for her. Or maybe I should say, the place for her found her, and the answer was Columbia University's Barnard College.
Up until that moment, the only thing I ever knew about Barnard was that it is the Alma Mater of Martha Stewart and Lauren Graham. I knew it was in NYC and that it was in the vicinity of Columbia. That's it. But when Erica came home that day, it all started to click. She decided to attend the assembly at school given by Barnard's college recruiter. Her reason for attending was to skip class; however, attending that hour long info session was the best decision she has made in her life so far.
Barnard College is the women's college of Columbia University. Even though it is a separate institution, it is a part of Columbia. Barnard graduates take classes at Columbia and receive Columbia University degrees. However, Barnard is a small school of about 600 girls per class. The dorms are all female. The college boasts an atmosphere of community, not competitiveness. They have a phenomenal internship program. The professors know the girls. It is a small oasis in an enormous city. It had Erica's name written all over it. So much so that two weeks after that info session, we were on a plane to NYC to tour the school. Two weeks after that, she applied for early decision. About five weeks later, her dream came true.
Take a look:
...and about five minutes after she received her acceptance email, Adrienne walked through the door, home from Duke for Christmas break.
Moral of the story...if you want an excuse to get out of class, go to a college recruitment meeting. It could change your life.
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