How Time Flies: My Take On Candidate's Weekend, etc.

Just one year ago today, I received the news that I was invited to the first Candidate's Weekend for Olin's class of 2015. Just one year ago, I was still a high school senior, and Olin was just another name on my list of schools. Come to think of it, it wasn't very high on my list; I didn't think for even a minute that I could ever end up coming to Olin. And yet, here I am, just over a week into my second semester here. It's kind of crazy. So, this year's candidates were just notified today, or at least the letters were mailed. Out of all the students receiving invitations, I know there will be some who already love Olin and are determined to come here, and others who just aren't sure. For those of you who are apprehensive and not that excited, this post is for you, because I was in your shoes one year ago.

 
For me, Olin was just a small, nerdy school in my hometown. I didn't like the tiny school size, I didn't like the fact that it was a mere five minute drive from my house, and most of all I didn't want to study engineering. Olin was everything I never wanted in a college. Coming to Candidate's Weekend is what changed my mind about Olin. By the time the weekend was over, I knew Olin was one of my top choices, and I knew I was going to be devastated if I didn't get in. I could just picture myself being a part of the community for the next four years, and that's a very bold statement to make after just one weekend.
 
People are passionate here. If you want to pursue an interest, if you want to make a change happen, if you're interested in trying something new -- this is the place to do it. Students here are given all the resources and encouragement they need, and there is barely a distinction between work and fun. The work here is fun.
 
People also encourage you to be different here. Everyone has something special to offer, whether they have a passion that they can't wait to share, or just have an aspect of their personality that makes them stand out from the average person. The Olin community may be small, but there are all sorts of people to be found here, and it's what makes it so unique.
 
To me, after coming to Candidate's Weekend, it almost felt like Olin was the embodiment of a successful and happy future. I knew that here I would grow, not only as a student, but also as a person. I could feel that there were special things happening at Olin, and I wanted to be a part of it. (And yes, I realize this post is making Olin sound more and more like a cult, but I swear it's not like that. We're more like a big squabbling family.)
 
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking of Candidate's Weekend as an audition. Sure, you'll be observed and interviewed to a certain extent, and yes, only about a third of the candidates will end up actually being a part of Olin's class of 2016. But I can assure you that, even if you don't get in, or even if you don't choose to come to Olin when you do get accepted, Candidate's Weekend will change your life. The people you meet, the experiences you have, and the excitement and joy of life you will take away from the weekend will stay with you for a long time. 
 
So come with an open mind and come ready to experience something new. You won't be disappointed!
Posted in: Class of 2015