How I Chose Oberlin (Alice)
There I was, 18 years old, plagued with senioritis and ready for college. But which college? I had applied to around 9 (thankfully, the sordid details have passed into oblivion for me), got into 6, and was only seriously considering four: Northwestern's Medill Journalism School, Kenyon, Vassar, and Oberlin. Northwestern offered me exactly zero financial aid, taking it out of the running. I had already visited Kenyon many times, as both my older brother and older sister attended that fine institution, so I only flew to visit Oberlin and Vassar.
(Background note: Because California is so far from everywhere I applied--not an accident, by the way--I could only afford to visit the colleges that had already accepted me)
So off I flew, and had great visits at both places. I sat in on fascinating classes at both schools. I liked both Oberlin's funky, colorful Mudd Library and Vassar's stately, gothic one. People were friendly at both places, but certainly funnier at Oberlin. I saw awesome student bands play at both colleges. When I returned home, I was at a loss.
I stressed out about it, tossing and turning at night. Where did I want to be? Where was my 'match'? Where would I be happy for the next four years? The answer--I'm not even joking--came to me in a dream.
In the dream, I was wandering through a beautiful winter landscape. I came to a frozen river. On the other side was a sign reading Vassar. I began to walk towards it, but the ice cracked under me and I plunged into the freezing water. I woke up, gasping, and the next day I filled out my acceptance forms for Oberlin.
My subconscious was right. Now I can't imagine myself anywhere else. I'd say something corny about literally "following your dreams" but I can't bear to. Let's just say, when all those pro and con lists aren't doing you any good, sleep on it.