Seeing is Believing

Cody Villanueva '23

Before coming to Olin, I wanted to learn more about Olin, especially the feel, resources, and comfort of the college due to its small size. Looking at other colleges closer to me such as a large, highly regarded public university with a class size of almost 8000 students (compared to Olin’s less than 90), I realized how lost I would feel in such a large place. I noticed that at Olin, the tight-knit community of students who are always there for each other is something very unique to the college, whereas in other places, the student would most likely be on their own.

However, a concern that came linked with that for me is if I would be able to find my group of people, especially with such a tiny class size. Coming from a high school with a class size about five times that of Olin, I was hesitant about the transition. It is much easier than I expected to get along with everyone here; it seems like we’re all in the same boat here, trying to figure it out together, which made the initial bonding experience very enjoyable.

When searching the college name on YouTube, I was able to find very few videos that had the information I was searching for. I felt like the introductory videos to the college were too formal and structured to provide a sense of the day-to-day student experience to expect. In addition, when looking the name up on Google Images, the majority of the photos were of the renowned Oval (Olin's central green space), which still didn’t give me an idea of what the college felt like. However, there is a great solution for this, which I realized a bit too late for my experience, but it may be a great help for you guys! Olin offers student-hosted tours where prospective students can get the full experience of visiting Olin.

It wasn’t until I visited during Candidates’ Weekend that I was able to bring the college into perspective. Candidates’ Weekend was very exciting and such a unique aspect of Olin. It is a chance for Olin to show you everything they have and all its unique details in person. I got to see the clubs, classes, dorms, talk to students and faculty, nearly everything I needed to get a sense of what the full experience would be like. I personally wanted to get a sense for the kind of interactions the students had with each other. During Candidates’ Weekend, I had plenty of chances to experience that, the biggest one being the interactive activity for the candidates called the Design Challenge. I had the chance to experience the style of work that the students here work on, which helped so much in gauging Olin’s fit for me.

Before coming to visit Olin, I didn’t have a complete idea of what the college looked like; there were many gaps of what I didn’t know. Through the experience of visiting, I was able to see and understand Olin’s mission statement in action. For you guys, however, we now have a new Virtual Tour feature on the Olin website! This tour will help you bridge the knowledge gaps and get a fuller vision of Olin before you come visit. It provides you with the full experience: a walkthrough of the entire college, including 360° views and audio explanations of the scene. Check out the Virtual Tour today!

Posted in: Cody '23, Class of 2023