The Storm Before the Storm

William Saulnier '16

I got an email from my dad today. He was expressing relief after checking his calendar that Candidate's Weekend was next weekend, and that no candidate would have to sludge through the potential two to three feet of snow that soon will be blanketing the campus. I'd have to agree. Everyone should be able to get here on time with minimal delay, and with a few thousand flights already canceled in and out of the east coast, it would have been quite a feat of engineering (get it?) to have everyone here for such an exciting weekend.

It's exciting for me, because it's been about a year since I was invited to Candidate's Weekend, arriving on campus, meeting my now classmates, talking with now upperclassmen, design building, interviewing, and breathing Olin. No other school does this (as far as I know). To most, I felt like I was an entry in a database, but at Candidate's weekend I was a living, breathing person, more then any test score or grade can describe.

I think that is what's most empowering about Candidate's Weekend. It gives you the chance to show what words and numbers cannot, to fly free as the phoenix (I need to stop now) and be reborn anew. It is as much an assessment of your qualities at it is an assessment of the college's qualities. Some people come to candidate's weekend and find they don't enjoy it as much as they thought they would. Candidate's Weekend is very much an organic event. The people you'll be talking to are not scripted, are not told what to say and what not to say. There is no list of banned topics, no question too strange or too taboo. Talk to any Olin student and they will tell you everything you'd want to know, the fabulous and what needs to be improved. If you end up not enjoying your time, the challenges that you face, or the people that you meet, then I feel Candidate's Weekend was a success.

See, this whole college process is about finding the right fit for you. It's about visiting, exploring, listening, and feeling out the quirks of each campus and each student body in turn. When I stepped on Olin's campus, I was curious and ready to explore, and I was rewarded with an amazing group of people with whom I could relate too. It reminded me of my days at CTY in Lancaster, where I spent 4 summers working with amazing people whom I still stay in contact with to this very day. Heck, even one of my former hall mates, one whom I had known over three years, is attending Olin with me! The long and short of it was, I had never felt at home in such a place before CTY, and I got the same feeling from Olin as well. That's how I knew it was a good fit for me.
This is starting to drag on a bit, and there is plenty of snow to be had, so I will leave you with my list of things every candidate should do when they are at their candidate's weekend.
  • Explore everything. 
  • Talk with people. 
  • Go to all the events. 
  • Talk with more people. 
  • Play dodgeball. 
  • Talk with more and more people. 
  • Hang out in rooms in the BECC until two in the morning. 
  • Drink all the free soda and eat all the free snacks.
  • Visit every table in the Career fair.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • Don't be afraid of spontaneity.
  • Have Fun. 
Posted in: Class of 2016