brownThe college visit is fraught with expectation, for both the parents and the child; will she like the campus?  The students?  The school colors?  Then there’s the worry; what if she likes it too much, and doesn’t get in?

So it is with Brown, the school I really wanted to go to, but didn’t get in to.  It is still as I remember it, a gorgeous campus in a cute, small city.  I didn’t want to sway my daughter’s opinion, but Hallie had already decided before she ever stepped foot on campus, that Brown was for her.  The info session and tour only served to reinforce this feeling.  And putting aside my own feelings – I wasn’t bitter, but when my younger sister got in (and went there) I was really pissed.  We had similar grades, scores, extracurriculars.  What did she have that I didn’t have?  And what did Hallie have to set her apart from the 300 or so kids at our info session.

Yes, it was the height of college tour season, spring break, and Brown was apparently the only godless school on the east coast to offer tours on Good Friday.  The overflow crowd teemed with dark-haired Jews like us, but I know I saw a couple of crosses on kids at the info session.  College trumps Christianity, I guess.

Hallie loved the self-directed nature of Brown, the historic buildings, the lack of a core curriculum.  She loved our tour guide, a cute, funny guy from New Jersey, and she loved that she could walk to a number of coffee shops and get a chai latte, just like at home.

But after seeing something like 18 colleges, she made a dramatic switch.  She no longer wanted to be in a city, having grown up in one.  Although applying early to Brown would double her chances of getting in, she was no longer even that interested in the school.  She did apply, but in the regular pool (13% acceptance rate) and didn’t get in.  But she got into 8 of the 10 schools she did applied to.  Unfortunately, she hadn’t actually seen any of them, starting a frenzied new round of tours, the accepted student tour.

Since I have two more kids, our family has two more shots at getting in Brown.  My secret hope?  One of them applies, gets in – and rejects the school.  Um – if anyone from the Brown admissions office is reading this – can you take a joke?

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