While M has enjoyed many social and extracurricular aspects of his first year of college, he has been disappointed in regards to the department he’s majoring in, both the classes he’s taken and related opportunities available.
He muttered briefly about wanting to transfer when he was home at Thanksgiving. We couldn’t tell if it was general freshman transitional angst or not. He muttered again briefly at Christmas. Again, hard to tell how serious he was. And then, in late February, a week before most transfer applications were due, he decided to go for it.
Let me inject some parental irony here. When he applied to colleges as a high school senior, he had copious amounts of help to make sure everything went as smoothly as possible. E and I drove him to countless tours and info sessions and several interviews. We kept a spreadsheet on the fridge to make sure everything got done in a timely fashion. A family friend worked with him to hone his long essay. His guidance counselor made sure transcript and recommendations all went through electronically. And ultimately he got into 3 good colleges, but not either of the Ivies he’d really been hoping for.
This time around, the entire process was on him, and was a lot more complex and problematic. One college misplaced his mailed transcript; another misplaced his mailed midterm report. One professor forgot to write a recommendation for a month. He drove himself to tour and interview at one school.
And the end result? M was accepted at 4 colleges, including 2 of the Ivies he applied to. Wow! That extra year of maturity, and actual college experience, clearly made him much better able to articulate who he is, and what he aspires to, and why a top-tier college should want to help him get there.
And ultimately it came down to a choice between Columbia and Brown.
We took a whirlwind day trip to NYC since he’d never visited Columbia before, and they had a special visit day for accepted transfer students. He traveled to Brown by himself for a revisit, since he hadn’t seen that campus in almost 3 years.
And after much thought, he finally made what is probably the toughest choice he’s ever had to make.
Columbia, here he comes!