Ever since late September, I’ve been hosting prospective students (“specs”), close to once a week. They stay in my room, eat at Sharples with me, go to a few classes, and meet all my delightfully eccentric friends. The overnight visit program is supposed to be for their benefit: it’s supposed to give them a chance to see if they’d like Swat and get a taste of what college is really like, the good and bad. But sometimes I wonder if I’m the one getting the most out of it.
I like meeting them, learning about what interests them, and trying to find one of my friends with similar interests for them to talk to. I like showing off my room and sometimes my professors. I like being able to introduce them to smart, funny Swatties and watching as they realize college is going to be much better than high school. I love narrating my life to a captive audience (just kidding!).
But most of all, I like telling them what makes Swarthmore special. Seeing the school through their eyes– gorgeous, exciting, new, and brimming with intelligent people, ideas, and opportunities– reminds me of why I chose it in the first place.
I knew pretty early in the college application process that I liked Swarthmore a lot and would be happy to go there. But I didn’t realize it was my first choice until much later; there were a few other schools that I thought I might prefer or like equally. So I sent off my applications and waited through the whole anxious, “winter of my discontent ” in senior year. And then, in mid-March, a minor miracle occurred: I got an acceptance letter to Swarthmore. I had received two before, but they didn’t make me feel the way this one did.
I was absolutely euphoric. And for a normally even-keeled person like me, it was pretty notable. What was most surprising about it was that the ecstasy didn’t wear off for over a week, and even then I would find myself smiling for no apparent reason, then remember it was because I could go here.
I still had three decisions to receive, but my mind was made up. I knew then that Swarthmore was going to be my school.
So now, watching other people making the same decisions about their future helps me reclaim a little of that euphoria. That’s why I love hosting specs so much.