Dear Admitted Students
Issue   |   Tue, 04/10/2018 - 21:35

With 200 prospective students here this Monday and around 650 more arriving this weekend, students on campus will be repeatedly asked to locate the nearest bathroom, or the dreaded question of “Why Amherst?” These open houses signal the cycle of one graduating class for an incoming one. Now is the perfect time to take a moment and reflect on the time spent at Amherst. Here are some thoughts and advice for admitted students from the Editorial Board on life at Amherst College.

Congratulations, you have been accepted into Amherst! You have had to dig deep to write essays that reflect your best work, trying to show to an admissions officer what you add to the academic and social community. You have completed the SATs or ACTs that you may have agonized over in a panicked fury, but are now a thing of the past. You have persevered and come out alive. You have accomplished so much in the short time you’ve lived, and that deserves recognition.

You’re currently in the midst of great change. This is the start of new beginnings and final preparations, as well as many goodbyes. Completing high school and starting college is an intense and tumultuous experience that sharpens the beautiful anxieties of life.

It’s a time to ask a lot of questions and appreciate the process of asking. Question as much as you can; you’ll be entering a unique place brimming with discovery, with professors and staff genuinely invested in your growth. Revel in the frustrations of not knowing, and rest assured that you’ll have the rest of your life to live in the answers. Take in as much as you can from the people around you, because the few years you’ll have at Amherst will pass by quickly.

Admire and take in the school. It’s teeming with conversations and connections. Take the time to watch the baseball game with the backdrop of the mountain range, the sun setting over Johnson Chapel or even the wet snow in April. Listen and you’ll hear how the voices at Amherst reverberate, and how the echoes in classrooms and at tables at Val manifest themselves across campus.

Articulate what you want from Amherst, and with its size, you can be the one to bring that change. Our campus has been molded and remolded constantly — not just with the changing of the physical landscape, but also shifting dialogues and key issues. This life of yours demands to be felt truthfully. This Amherst experience can be uniquely yours by focusing in on what you want from Amherst. You may walk away from Amherst after this weekend and never want to come back, and that’s okay. Either find ways to change Amherst or go find somewhere better suited for the next step.

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