Okay, I’ll admit it. I never planned on actually attending Mac.
To be honest, I only applied because of the name. Applying to “Macalester” added a sense of – refinement – to the long list of colleges to which I applied.
Although I won’t recommend my misguided strategy to any high school seniors searching for a dream school, it worked out fabulously for me: I’m now in the throes of love for Dear Old Macalester.
The food’s great. My classes challenge me, but I wouldn’t change a single thing about any of my three professors. The wide variety of club and student orgs which vied for my attention at the Org Fair left me in awe.
I expected all of this before deciding to attend Mac, though. The smaller things, the surprises, are what make me ecstatic to wake up each afternoon. Did I mention my earliest class starts at 1:10?
Take, for example, the black squirrel I often spot by the CC. Who knew? There’s even diversity among the squirrel population here.
Seriously, though, the diversity here is wonderful. I love the variety of viewpoints, the accents of the international students and their willingness to answer my scores of questions: whether “they have roller coasters in Vietnam” and if there are “really that many rainforests in Brazil.” Answers: sort of, and yes. Did I mention the accents?
Even more important to me, though, is the sense of community I feel here. I’ve already made several upperclassmen friends – a drastic change from days as a high school freshman, when it seemed anathema to even look at the juniors and seniors.
Also, it seems to me that their aren’t any many “jerks” here, either. Of course, some of you get on my nerves once in awhile, but where are the genuinely mean people? I’ve been looking, trying to prove myself wrong because it seems so…unnatural. I haven’t found any yet, and I love y’all for it.
The Mac students I know say what they mean and how they feel. The “consensus” occasionally leans too far left for my tastes, but it is refreshing to meet other opinionated people who aren’t afraid to let others know that they actually have opinions.
Coming from my hometown in Kentucky, it’s a big change. Living there really challenges your faith in humanity sometimes (trust me on this), and possibly might be the reason why I’m so glad to be at Mac. But, I digress.
I understand many of these factors probably apply to many similar colleges, but Mac truly does feels different to me.
At Mac, I’m able to spot that black squirrel. At Mac, I’m able to interrogate the international students who can put up with me. At Mac, I’m able to engage in conversations that actually interest me, conversations in which I can learn through a variety of lenses and perspectives.
After being here for just a month, I’m able to say that I consider myself lucky to attend Macalester, and that I love all of you for making my new home such a great place.