Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Epitome of our Future - College

Last night, I went to a college fair at the Marriott Hotel in Oakland. There were several local people at this event that I happened to spot: Julia Martien, an El Cerrito High School junior who will be attending the University of Pennsylvania Physics Academy through The Ivy League Connection this summer, and my two fellow Brownies Kathleen and Erin K.! It was very nice to see them at the end.
Brown University ~ Van Wickle Gates
Five colleges were presenting at this faire (in this order): Columbia University in Manhattan (NY), Cornell University in Ithaca (NY), Rice University in Houston (TX), University of Chicago in Chicago (IL), and Brown University in Providence (RI).
The University of Chicago
The presentation that interested me the most was Brown. Keith Light, one of the Admissions Directors at Brown, was humorous, had tremendous grace, and obviously has a deep love for Brown (ironically, he went to school in California - Stanford!). I was happy to be able to ask him a couple of questions after the presentations were done.
Columbia University
The other schools that interested me were Columbia and Cornell. I liked the environment surrounding Cornell (there was a slideshow for each school) and the academics. I also really enjoyed the New York atmosphere from Columbia and the academics and friendliness the school seemed to have. I have two friends who attend both of those schools respectively (and a couple of friends who attend Brown and will be attending Brown in the fall) who just finished their freshman year and definitely enjoyed their experience.
Cornell University
College fairs are always exciting to me. Like I have stated before, I like experts who propose challenges. What struck me was how all the presenters stressed the fact that the admissions officers are not looking for the people with the highest GPA, the best SAT score, the highest number of community service hours, and who founded the most clubs. They are looking for people who are going to thrive in their schools and change the world. One of the presenters clearly stated: "We are not looking for well-rounded people. We are looking for individualists."
Rice University
Of course, having all those well-rounded qualities never hurts, but colleges do not want robots. They want the person who wants to learn MORE about the robots and try inventing one; someone who comes up with their own rules.

Overall, the college fair was very interesting, and I'm glad I went! Just thought I'd share that with my Brownies!


  1. Erinn and I waited until everyone talking to Keith Light left. He was about to leave, but we chased him down! We introduced ourselves, and he seemed happy to meet us. :)

  2. (: Fantastic! I hope we can actually see him when we go to Brown

  3. Adrianne,

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    I like the way you described a little about each of the schools you heard about.

    I, too, enjoy most of these college fairs. It's interesting to learn more about these schools and what they have to offer.

    We can never forget, though, that these presenters are salesmen and they're going to paint a pretty rosy picture of their school. The photos in their presentations will always include green quads and happy students, You'll never see the ten foot snow banks and the stressed out students right before finals.

    The point here is that these fairs are great for stirring the embers of interest but interested students really need to look into the schools more carefully. A site visit is a must and talking with alums is always helpful, too.

    You've made a great start, though, in helping to narrow down what interests you.

  4. Don,

    Thanks! I like college fairs as well; I've been to so many that I have college brochures scattered all over my room. College fairs are always very interesting to me seeing as though these alums or admissions officers take time to travel to talk about the schools they represent.

    Seeing as though mainly admission officers were presenting their colleges, the fact that the stress level wasn't really talked about didn't really bother me so much. However, when I go to college fairs and alums are there, I always find it interesting when they discuss the stress they went to. Always interesting to hear what alums have to say.

    And thanks for the pictures! I'll remember to post some in my newer blog posts. They help to spice up the post.


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