One Lasting Piece of Advice

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The typical college-searching, campus-touring high school student is bombarded with approximately 2,943 pieces of unwarranted, unhelpful, and unfounded advice before they even hit ‘submit’ on the Common App.  Okay, so perhaps I made that up, but from what I can remember, everyone and anyone for that matter had thoughts on how I should best move through the search and application process.  “Be funny in your essay” they said; “Join activities to show your well-roundedness” they said.  “Check out my alma mater” or “You should really look into engineering”.

As a junior and senior, you are absolutely barraged with tidbits of advice, suggestions, reminders and recommendations from everyone you meet.  And you know what, more often than not, these pieces of advice have more to do with the person saying them than with you!

Back when I was going through the college search (the search that eventually landed me at Bentley!), I let many of the so-called “words of wisdom” from others just wash over me and didn’t take much of it to heart.  Looking back, there is one piece of advice that actually resonated with me and it came from my dad.  Surprising, right?  The last thing I wanted to do at the time was admit that he was (dare I say it) right!

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At the start of every campus tour, he would lean over and say, “Don’t forget to look for your spot”.  From the very beginning of my search, my dad told me about a space on his college campus that felt like it was his and only his.  A small cubby of a space in an academic building that no one else seemed to know about; this became his haven during his college years.  A place to study, write papers, get some space from roommates, or just find calm among the buzz of campus life.

For me, when I looked at schools, I had already done the research on rankings, majors, job placement rates and all of those other fast facts.  I was zoned in on getting the true sense of what it felt like to be on a campus and if I could picture myself adopting that community as my own for four years.  With the idea of finding “my spot” on campus, it kept me focused during long tours on really soaking in the campus and thinking about my future cubby of space to call my own.

After countless campus tours, edits and re-edits of my essay, months spent waiting to hear back, and one really exciting visit from my mailman, I got my acceptance letter to Bentley.  My mind instantly transported me to the feeling of being on campus, despite being in my familiar kitchen at home.  What I loved though, was the fact that the familiar feeling of being home was what I also felt as I pictured Bentley in my mind.  It felt like the place that I would call my home for the next four years and the place that I could have “my spot” on campus.

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P.S. – My spot was somewhere in this building, but I can’t give away its exact location!  Maybe someday you’ll find your spot here too!

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