October 13, 2008

Why I chose Mount Allison

Hello Again,

If you've read my first post, you know what this blog is about(notes on life at Mount Allison) and why I'm writing it (to tell you, the prospective student, what being at Mount A is about in and out of classes), but I didn't go into much detail about why I chose to come here.

I first heard of Mount Allison because my Dad who went here suggested I take a look at it. For some background: I graduated from a high school in the US, and so I was applying to some American schools (which require taking standardized tests, writing personal statements and essays, and in some cases an interview). They have thousands more applicants than they have room for, so most everybody applies to more than 4. American schools have much earlier deadlines to apply for admission, so it was after applying to those schools that I looked at Mount A. From looking at the website it seemed really nice...but I wasn't convinced it was for me. As time went on I decided that I didn't want to go to any of the bigger schools I had applied to, and took a closer look at Mount Allison. I had been living in the US for a long time and wasn't very well informed about Canadian schools, so the consistently high ratings by Macleans and the Globe and Mail reassured me it was one of the best schools in Canada (Did I mention the #1 ranking in Macleans...you'll be hearing about that a lot).

I applied to a few other liberal arts schools in the US and Canada, and by January I had
been accepted to over half a dozen schools. A few of them were small, liberal arts schools and they offered large scholarships (Private American Universities generally cost $40,000-$55,000 a year..and they were offering to pay almost all of it in grants and loans). I felt like I could go to just about any of them and be alright. They had the type of programs I was looking for and were fairly reputable, but there was nothing that jumped out at me to convince me to go to one instead of another. In February my I decided to take a trip Mount Allison and one of my other top choices to try and make up my mind. After hours of driving through heavy snow my Dad I got to Sackville.

The campus was covered in snow and it must have be about negative 10 degrees C (about 14 degrees F...I still haven't quite adjusted to using metric), but I still went out nice and early for a campus tour. Walking through campus and seeing the few people who were brave enough to be outside actually smiling enjoying being there, taking a look at the residences and walking the path I would walk to class, I felt oddly at home.

After that tour and seeing and feeling what Mount A would be like, I was unimpressed by the visit to what used to be my first choice school.

When I got back home I was all too eager to get the admissions decision. When I got the acceptance letter in the mail, I was ecstatic. I called and talked to a professor, and read everything I could about Mount A. I looked at the majors and was really impressed with the International Relations program. Everything made sense: Mount A is a well established small liberal arts school Mount A, it offers my major, I could move back to Canada, and most importantly: I felt at home there...that I would be happy living there so I accepted their offer of admission.

That probably sounds very corny, but it's true. I think if you're unsure about coming here you should visit. There's really no substitute for actually seeing campus: looking at where you'd be sleeping, and eating, and sometimes even studying for the next four (maybe even 5) years of your life.

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