C. Adam Pfander Photograph


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It Was Worth It

March 29, 2013   

This past Thursday, March 28, Hamilton College published its admissions decisions online; I would like to congratulate the brand new members of Hamilton’s Class of 2017!  For many of you, the college process could not have been easy. Applications require months of research and preparation. They demand endless hours of careful writing and scrupulous editing—writing an essay is one thing; crafting an application is quite another.  But let me reassure all the new students: it was worth it.

I was in your position just one year ago.  Both the pains and joys of college applications are still fresh in my mind.  The fall semester of my senior year is best described as a maelstrom of essay writing: one draft after another thrown out with eight new essays still to write.  As the deadlines neared, the stress reached a fever-pitch.  I was desperate to finish the applications, desperate to succeed, desperate to move on to the next chapter in my life.

But January came and went, and I made the deadlines for all my prospective schools.  I remember the flood of satisfaction and relief as I pressed the send button on my final application.  I had finished the race; I had climbed the mountain; I was done.

But the shadow of those applications loomed over the rest of my senior year.  Though my schooldays were blissful – I was fully enveloped in the ease of Senior Spring – a quiet, tense stress overtook me.  I was waiting for the hammer to drop; my heartbeat rose as I checked my email, as I walked past my mailbox.

My decision from Hamilton was a beautiful gem: amidst a mixed-bag of acceptances, declines and wait-lists, here was a school that not only accepted me, but seemed genuinely eager to have me.  From that very first letter, Hamilton embraced me and challenged me to reach my full potential. From the stress and aggravation of the college process, I found a new home.  One year later, I can safely say it lived up to those expectations.