Ah, senior year. I remember it like it was last year (because it was). The struggle to write college apps, the stress while waiting for admissions, and the terror minutes before clicking “View Admission Decision” on your applicant portal. You all spent months, no, years, waiting for colleges to tell you that they wanted you. And now, it’s your turn to tell them if you want them back.
Well, well, well, how the turntables have… (if you got that reference, I love you).
Hopefully, if you’re reading this, Olin is at least on your radar, and you want to know why people actually go here. If this assumption is true, then congratulations! My name is Prisha, and as weird as it feels to say, I am on my way to finishing my 1st year as an Olin student. I’m here to tell you my thought process behind choosing Olin, in the hopes of at least bringing up some thought-provoking points that help you decide which school to commit to :)
So we’ll start from the beginning. Like, time travel back to high school beginning. And as cliché as this might be, it’s super relevant to the plot. I was an FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) junkie. I lived and breathed robots - I still kinda do - but the most important part of FRC for me was that every single time I’d walk into a meeting, I felt like I was a part of something. My massive team of 80 people was my 2nd family, my community. Once I got a taste of that community, I knew I could never go back.
You’re all going to have different factors going into your college decision, but if you really look deep inside yourself, you’ll find that one factor that you weigh just a little bit more than all the others. We’ll call it the oomph factor. For me, that factor was community.
You all already know about Olin’s curriculum and how cool that is. You’ve all been to a Candidates’ Weekend (well, most of you). You’ve all done research on the school, and you already know every technical detail there is to know about Olin. So I’m not going to talk about that. I’m going to talk about my Candidates’ Weekend, a whole year + 1 month ago, and we’re going to see if you can relate to any of my feelings throughout my weekend.
In theory, Olin’s really weird. When I got my Candidates’ Weekend email, that’s honestly all I could think about. First of all, it has less than 90 students per grade. Second of all, they were ALL engineers. Just think about how awkward 350 engineers would be. It was terrifying.
I have literally never been more wrong. I still remember exactly how I felt when I left after my Candidates’ Weekend. I was so nervous going in, but all the upperclassmen were so energetic, and happy, and warm. I wasn’t even accepted yet, but I felt...welcome. Any group of students that could make a random girl they’d never met before feel like she was a part of them was a group of students I wanted to be around. And yes, it was awkward, but it was the good kind of awkward. The kind of awkward where you’re always laughing, because there’s always something to talk about. Olin’s the place where you could go to the dining hall at any time and never be worried about who to sit with. That’s not something that can be said about most schools, which is good, because Olin isn’t like most schools. It’s one giant 344-human community.
But that’s just Olin. Every college has its defining factors and things that make it absolutely amazing. Your path is going to be very different from mine, and from everyone else who reads this. Find your oomph factor, and let it lead you to the place you’re going to spend the next 4 years of your life at, and if that place happens to be Olin...well, welcome to the community.
We’re so excited to meet you.
(Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have!)