The PFs are here!!! (I love PFs.) While mostly I've just had to do my homework and pop in and out of parties of tons and tons of students and prospective ones, I got to thinking- this is probably because it is 1 am. I always think about this when people talk about the college search process: I only applied to three schools. And now I wonder. I love Mac, love, love, love it, and the truth is, I probably could not have picked a better school (for me). This is in terms of price (I get a tuition benefit from my mom's job), location (my family is kind of big on living close to one another, plus I they are there when I need them but not if I don't), fit, academics, people, etc.
Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if I'd gone to college in a different environment, a more conservative one, for example. Would I question my faith as much? Is this challenge a good thing? Is what Macalester has to offer what I need? Academically, spiritually, etc? I am very aware how much college is shaping me- so significantly. And I am also aware of the effects of my environment. True, it is one of the wonderful qualities of humans that we can adapt, but it is also scary for me that it is easier to believe in God at home with my family than at school. Shouldn't some things stay with you no matter what? I came to Mac to be stretched, but I don't want to be too malleable. (We're talking like cold clay before you start working with it versus silly putty here. I'd rather have aspects of me be cold clay, and I think they are.) But mostly, truly, I just enjoy my life here.
Another thing I wonder sometimes is what it'd have been like to go on a big, fancy school college search. I want to know if I can get into an Ivy League or the University of Chicago. I want to travel and visit schools. Heck, I want a rejection letter. (Well, not really. In an ideal world, I'd turn down Harvard and come to Mac... not that I think I could get into Harvard, but I do have qualifications that look good to colleges beyond Mac.) I wonder if, if I'd done that, I would have ended up somewhere different. I saw Harvard and truly wasn't all that impressed. I was more impressed by quirkiness and individual attention and super cool people and parents that don't hound the tour guide. But who knows, maybe Stanford would have won my heart. I want to know if I am even qualified- when I was looking at schools, I was afraid I wouldn't get into Mac. I laugh at that now, but I want to know what I was capable of, even if it makes no difference. I wonder if my college choice has the potential to change my future, or if it is what you make of it no matter what.
But then I stop wondering. And even though I can't share the stories of having applied to 15 schools, I am so happy. Because I applied to three. And I found one. One where people love the flower in my hair and draw funny things on the chalk boards and embrace social awkwardness. Where the professors know your name and give you extensions when you are sick and you care and you learn and you grow. I found a place I am happy, even if everywhere I go I am going to be a little "different" from the average.
And the only thing I keep wondering is how those kids even had time to apply to that many schools and why everything takes me so much longer than the average person.
And then I realize I am on the Internet again.