If you are reading this, there is a chance that you have just gotten your acceptance letter from Olin.
If you have, CONGRATULATIONS!!!
I'll never forget the day I waited anxiously by the door for the FedEx man to appear and hand me that envelope, and the multitude of texts to my friends from Candidate's Weekend that followed.
In honor of this exciting time, I figured I'd share the story of how I decided to come to Olin with you. Mind you, it's been four years, so the details may not be perfect, but I'll do my best. Also, I don't have pictures for this story, so use your imagination =].
First off, I want to tell you that I didn't think I'd get in to candidate's weekend. That's right, I was one of the many people I've talked to who didn't think I'd make it through the first round. I literally ignored my candidate's weekend envelope in the pile of mail because I assumed it was for my mother (whoops)!
When I was accepted to Olin, I wanted to make a well informed decision. Being the levelheaded member of the family, my mom told me to consider all of my options.
So for a month, 'I did.' I spent 'time' on other school's websites, talked to my teachers and peers, and made pro-con charts. I realized I had one fear: I didn't think I was good enough to do the work. Design Nature seemed like an impossible thing to ask of first year students, and I had literally no engineering experience under my belt. I was worried I'd fail, and back then, failure wasn't a good thing.
In previous years (and maybe this year, too), Olin has offered accepted students the chance to shadow a student for a day. My mom and I agreed it would be a good idea for me to go, so I emailed the coordinator, Scott ('12), and made plans to visit a few days before finals period for Olin students. I arrived with my deposit (just in case).
Within 20 minutes of my first class, I knew. There we were, sitting in Modeling and Simulation of Electricity and Magnetism, and I understood what was going on. I followed the basics of the relativity that Mark Somerville was teaching.
We walked out of class, and I went straight to admissions. One of the staff members had interviewed me, so I walked into her office, and handed her my signed acceptance and deposit. Everyone in the office clapped, and I smiled.
I had an entire night of memories I'd never forget after making that deposit. I helped Dugger and Tanner ('13) ruin the aerogel they were making. I watched a group of students work excitedly together on homework in the lounges. I participated in a southern-sweet-tea study break in Tanner and Andrew's ('13) room. I had an hour long, deep conversation with Geoff ('13), who I had literally just met (we later became great friends). I went on a tour of the (former) art room with Kelsey ('13). I took apples from the dining hall and baked apple crisp after midnight with Kelsey and Kat ('13.5). I attended final presentations the next day where one began with students running into the classroom shooting nerf guns.
I told my Olin friends the story of my visit later, and they laughed. I did so many things in a day, but more importantly, I did so many Olin things in a day. The reason I chose Olin wasn't the classwork, or the type of education I was going to get (though, in retrospect, that was an important thing). I chose Olin for the culture. The community. The people. I wanted to make memories like those the class of 2013 was making.
I can tell you right now that I did. I am 100% happy with the decision I made. Sure, there are times when Olin feels too small, or I wish I had a chance to take a larger variety of classes, but those small feelings never come close to outweighing the happiness and love I feel for Olin.
I have less than two months until I leave, and I know that things will be different when I'm gone. I believe that my love for the culture and people at Olin will not fade. So, reader, if you're thinking about coming to Olin, think about what else we have besides our curriculum - or at least, think about the people component of the curriculum.
Best of luck in your decisions! Time for me to go hit the beach with 10 of my best Olin friends =]