Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

“A bunch of awesome eccentrics”

<st heard of Carleton when I discussed my prospective college list with my Minnesota native uncle. He, in no uncertain terms, pointed me in the direction of this place. “It’s a school full of Sids,” he told me, leaving me more than a little intrigued.

For my whole life, I’ve had interests that didn’t line up with those of my peers. I prefer wandering around at midnight and looking at stars- and, if there’s no one around, practicing my Tuvan throat singing- to partying, and I’m more interested in Thai politics or Kenyan history than in comparing iPhones. As a result, my closest friends in high school were often people I treasured because they were kind and interesting rather than because we shared passions.

So when I asked my uncle to clarify his remark, his response that Carleton was home to “a bunch of awesome eccentrics who want to make the world better”- sounded more than just intriguing to me. It sounded like home.

Everything I discovered about Carleton after my uncle keyed me in suggested that he was right. I found Carleton to be home to fascinating, friendly, ambitious, and, of course, quirky people, who, to parrot the oft-stated sentiment, make up perhaps the kindest college community out there. When I visited here, people were, en masse, friendly toward me in a way that I’d never really seen anywhere else before. I felt welcomed
by students, faculty, and administrators. This feeling was tremendously alluring to someone like me, who has at times struggled with social interaction and feelings of loneliness.

The spirit of kindness and acceptance that I felt here has, at least from what I’ve seen thus far, allowed for a diverse environment to flourish, both in areas such as race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status, and in terms of thought. Coming from an almost uniformly affluent, vast-majority-white school in Los Angeles with very little variety in ways of thinking, I felt the need to broaden my mind by throwing myself into this eclectic community. I hoped during the application process, and hope now, to find brand new perspectives, and to offer my own perspective in return.

One other thing that pulled me here is that Carleton students have found some pretty unique ways to have fun. They play broomball on the frozen over Bald Spot, repeatedly steal the bust of a German poet (track team, I love you guys, but somebody’s gotta get Schiller this year, he’s been in the same hands for too long), and hike through a forest significantly larger than the actual campus, which, now that I’m here, I’m itching to explore.

But the student body and the things that they do aren’t all that drew me here. Carleton possesses rigorous but flexible academics, renowned professors that by at least one metric are considered to be the nation’s best teachers, and an incredible program in political science, which I plan, as of now, to major in (though,at this point in my Carleton career, who knows!). This is not to mention the superb study-abroad opportunities, which, given my desire to experience new ways of thinking, are especially important to me. I believe that an incredible way to gain the tools to make change in the world is to experience different parts of it, a concept that not only attracts me to the study-abroad program, but draws me, an L.A. city boy, to small-town Minnesota. OK, the winters might be a little painful, at least at first, but I’ll get through it. Actually, I’m excited to see it snow, something that doesn’t really happen much back home. I’ve come to Carleton seeking an experience radically different from my past, as well as perspective that will last a lifetime.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *