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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Freebie “Taste of Carleton” draws Prospies to Minnesota

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Prospies. The more, the merrier. The familiar bobble-head doll gaggle of high school seniors plodding about respectfully behind a tour guide proudly demonstrating his or her refined ability to talk and walk backwards at the same time. In all shapes and sizes, from near or far, invited to come one, come all to see what a “quirky, fun, diverse, but also academically challenging place” Carleton is.

I was once a prospie, along with a sizeable percentage of the freshman class and Carls in general. Last year, in the midst of my first semester college appli- cation essay woes, Carleton sent me a packet inviting me to apply for a program called “Taste of Carleton”. While I was sifting through the college mail, which ranged from state colleges to Ivy Leagues inviting me to apply to anything and everything, what really drew my attention to the little package and eventually got me to apply was the little word FREE. Here was a school that I had never heard of, that I wasn’t really sure how to pronounce the name of, offering to bring me to visit their school for three days completely free of charge. I was two months into my last year as a high school student and I figured that I needed a break, so I applied and later was accepted. A part of the conditions of applying for Taste of Carleton included starting a part of the Common Application for Carleton, so I shrugged and put Carleton on my list of schools. (Wow, so sneaky, Carleton.) It never crossed my mind that I could be going to this tiny, Midwestern school for the next four years.

Halloween weekend, I packed my heaviest Californian winter clothes and arrived at Carleton on Friday afternoon. We were told that the president of the college would come speak to us soon, carefully herded into the admissions office, and sat down

awkwardly, grouped off into five or six to a table. Conversations went along the same lines as the questions asked during New Student Week: Name? State of origin? What are you interested in studying? When Stevie P. finally emerged, it was in a full-body, fluffy cow costume and I remem- ber thinking, “Well, Carleton really knows how to make a memo- rable first impression.” After the reception, I picked classes to sit in, and met my student host and her roommate. To be honest, one of the main reasons why Carleton left such a good impression on me was because of my host and her roommate. Although both were freshmen, they made sure to take me to events such as Lenny Dee, a capella concert and even out to town to eat at Chapati. And being [with] freshmen on a sub-free floor, I was completely unaware that Carleton was a wet campus and went promptly to sleep at 11PM the entire Halloween week- end. During my entire stay, I was constantly surprised at how everyone I met seemed to be extremely interesting and friendly, and the classes that I sat in (biochemis- try and psychology) showed that Carleton really deserved its #1 in the nation rating for undergraduate teaching. I had arrived with minimal expectations about this Minnesotan school that I’d never heard of, and left seriously considering coming here.

Overall, the entire experience left a good “Taste” in my mouth— without Carleton’s prospie pro- gram and rather aggressive mailing strategies, I wouldn’t have even known about this school, let alone end up coming here. I think that being dropped straight into dorm life was a perfect way to experience how actually attending Carleton would feel, and I’m happy that Carleton knows how to market itself to high school students through use of the word “FREE”.

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