About the author: I’m Kerina, a high school senior interning at Creative Marbles. I’ve lived to tell the tale of having completed the college application process.
Throughout the college application process, I have been flooded with unsolicited promotional brochures and emails, and well-meant but biased phone calls from admissions officers. I’m all for amassing as much information as possible, but the overwhelming torrent of college admissions marketing makes the actual decision feel impossible. “Our school is great! Our school is the most friendly! Our school has the most opportunities! Our school has the most beautiful campus! Our school has the best teachers! Our school is just right for you! Our school has a real, live dragon and a mountain made of ice cream and our students break out in peppy musical numbers!” I’m not someone who can make uninformed decisions. If I’m picking a restaurant to go to for dinner, I can’t just say “Well, that sounds good,” I have to look up the options and compare any posted ratings and reviews. But, you can’t just use a 5-star rating system for colleges, and it takes a lot more than a few two-paragraph reviews to get an idea of what a school is like.
That’s what those brochures are helpful for, right? Yeah, not really. No matter how colorful the pie-charts are, or how much fun the students playing frisbee in the pictures look like they’re having, the information sent out by colleges is biased. It’s all very Cheap Trick. “I want you to want me/ I need you to need me/ I’d love you to love me/ I’m begging you to beg me.”
Although sent with good intentions, the brochures and pamphlets and emails were sent at such an alarming rate that most of them were tossed in the recycling bin without having been read. I saw the brochures and phone calls as advertisements, too biased and airbrushed to be of any use for my decision. I wanted a candid, authentic perspective of the college; after all, I’m investing my money, the next four years of my life into the school I choose, and I can’t divorce my college degree.
Keep reading, the next post will detail where and how I sought objective information in making my decision about college