In Fall 2011, I arrived at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY my home for the next four years, without any inkling of where the cafeteria is located or what type of clothes to pack in order to fit in. Two years before, I began searching, visiting and obsessing over college. My parents and I stepped foot on seven out of eleven colleges that I applied to. I wanted, actually no, I needed to go to Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY. After I submitted the application, I dreamt of reading under the reflection of the beautiful stained glass in the library or walking through the beautiful campus on a chilly day. I watched video after video of the commencement speeches, including one made by Lisa Kudrow, Phoebe from Friends.
When the fateful day arrived, I felt my heart ache as I read the rejection letter from my dream school. My picturesque life at Vassar was shattered into pieces. Yet, today, I could not be in a better state. Now, I go to SLC, a liberal arts college, known for its line of alums and unique curriculum. Unlike most of the colleges in the list, I did not take a campus tour or spoke to an admissions officer. The school only came into my attention, after my mother pointed out that I would be able to simultaneously study psychology and theatre.
From the first day of class, I never regretted my choice to enroll. I love my don and the ability to explore diverse subjects. I enjoy taking class with twelve other students and writing in-depth conference papers on subjects that interest me, such as the Nanjing Massacre, traditional Indonesian medicine, and the Bugis tribe’s recognition of gender. As complicated and stressful as it is, I look forward the interview periods, where students go around campus in a mad panic to meet one-on-one with professors to learn more about a course. I enjoy making friends with grads, undergrads and the faculty. I relish in the rare opportunity to determine my own concentration and mold my own personal curriculum.
How could you not fall in love with this view?
Maybe, I have one confession to make: the only thing I regret is spending the time, energy and money on three rounds of the SATs. SLC, unlike most colleges in the U.S., is well known for its lack of regard towards standardized testing. However, I realize that everything worked out for the best, when I find myself smiling at the end of a long and tough semester at SLC. I may have been rejected by my dream school, I may have missed out on what I perceived to be my dream college experience, but I am thoroughly glad that I did. As I write this article on the North Lawn and listen to the colorful conversations of SLC, I realize that this is the dream college experience especially tailored for me.