Tonight I gained a little more insight on the admissions process that happens here at Vanderbilt University. A dinner was held this evening with the dean of the Commons; all the VSA students dressed in their best "snappy casual" clothing and reported to the Commons for dinner and a brief introduction. After the dean introduced himself and some admissions officers (none of whom were the admissions officer for California), he gave a succinct speech. We chewed our food slowly and respectfully listened to his speech before heading to the Rotunda, where we were divided into groups of fifteen. Our job in those groups were to evaluate the applications of four different students and deliberate which one of those students should be accepted, which should be wait-listed, and which should just be denied.
It was interesting reading some faux admissions applications to " Redbrick University"( which is a fictitious college). The four students who's applications we read were very different. Each of them had specific skills and weaknesses, so it took a while to decide who earned what. I realized that a strong application has everything:exceptional grades, leadership and commitment in extracurricular activities, recommendations, and your personal essay. Therefore, we chose the candidate who best fit this description.
This activity really gave me some insight on what I need to do to have a strong application. I have to admit, I wasn't feeling too confident about college when I looked at some of those example applications because I have not done nearly as much as those sample students have. I returned to my room despondent after that activity. I picked up a pen and paper and began listing every significant achievement of my academic life and realized that I may not have done as much as some students, but I have done a good amount.
Everyday at Vanderbilt is like an adventure. I am learning new things and meeting new people everyday. I am discovering more about myself and who I am personally and academically. I am no longer an ignorant little kid; I have evolved into a mature young adult, with a more thoughtful curiosity about the world. I can now recognize mistakes and things I am doing wrong and fix them. I am finally starting to grow up now.