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21 April 2009 / April


I had a few epiphanies on my illuminating trip to Western Massachusetts.

(To be clear: at Mt. Holyoke I was just visiting a friend and finding a place to sleep between admitted student open houses, while at Smith and Amherst I was really visiting as part of the college decision making process.)

First of all, I am a giant snob.  Well, I actually already knew this, but it was really emphasized when Mt. Holyoke students said Smith students were snobs, Smith students said Amherst students were snobs, and I went to Amherst and completely fell in love.  Yeah.  Ironically, it was overall a humbling experience.

I don’t really belong at a women’s college.  Surprisingly enough to those who know me, this is not because I am a huge heterosexual slut, since if that were the case, satisfaction would be just a PVTA ride away (Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, or Pushing Virgins Towards Amherst).  It’s actually just because I like having guys in my classes.  They’re fun to laugh at.

South African accents are ridiculously cool.  People in Ms. T’s classes know this, but at Amherst I met a couple people from South Africa whose accents were a bit different but equally spiffy.

While I’m talking about people I met at Amherst (of which a LOT could be said, but not of epiphanic nature), I also met a lot of awesome kids from a lot of American states.  The only one with a truly outrageous accent was from Tennessee.  And he talked a lot.  I’m going to hear that boy’s voice in my sleep.

All the transportation aspects of my trip were probably an OCD-er’s nightmare.  It wasn’t like Swat, where everything was meticulously planned yet everything on the way home just got completely fucked.  It was more like, buy a bus ticket from Syracuse to Northampton and figure out the rest (Northampton to South Hadley, South Hadley to Amherst, Amherst to Syracuse or possibly Ithaca) as you go along.  It was a good time.

… It actually was though.  It was one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done.  It’s hard to pin down exactly what the epiphany was here.  Maybe: I can do shit by myself and it’s kind of awesome.  Yeah, something like that.

The last epiphany is after the jump.

I think I’m going to Williams.

I think if I were interested in (passionate about) anything but math, I would probably choose Amherst.  But I think math, the subject itself and the community of people surrounding it, is important enough to me that the rest doesn’t matter.  Though I do sincerely apologize to everyone who’s obliged to hate me now.

Thanks to the timing, people will probably think I made this decision because I visited Amherst and hated it.  The funny thing is, it is exactly because I visited Amherst and fell in love that forced me to really think about what matters most to me – in college, in life.  It is because I nearly chose Amherst that made me more certain about my decision to choose Williams.

Of course, by “more certain” I really mean “not certain at all.”  But I know I will never be certain.

Well, nine days.



Leave a Comment
  1. Luis / Apr 21 2009 10:35 pm

    The epiphany is that you don’t like fun in your like. Just kidding, just kidding. Although I am really sad that you would not be joining some of us in Amherst I am happy that you will be happy at Williams. For your safety, please do NOT fill out Williams College under the “alternative school” space in the Amherst notification sheet. The really sad part is that since you will be attending Williams we can no longer share a dorm room. Good luck April!

  2. Rafael Lizarralde / Apr 22 2009 12:09 am

    Is Amherst significantly less mathy than Williams?

  3. April / Apr 22 2009 2:26 pm

    Luis: Don’t worry, I’ll still find a chance to visit your dorm room… and thank you for being understanding instead of threatening to assassinate me or something 🙂

    Raffi: Amherst is fine in math, but Williams is amazing, based both on the classes I visited and the reputations. When you visit Williams they actually talk about nothing except how phenomenal their math department is.

    • Luis / Apr 27 2009 9:28 pm

      The death threats come later, maybe during winter…

  4. Antal S-Z / Apr 23 2009 12:50 am

    Not true, April, we also enthuse about our art history department 😛 Seriously, though. If this is your final decision, I look forward to being at school with you again! It’s true, our math department is absolutely phenomenal—I can vouch for its awesomeness, as well as the awesomeness of the entire school. But if you really fell in love with Amherst, I would strongly consider it. College is about the whole school, not just the math department, and if (as surprised as *I* would be :-P) you simply prefer Amherst, that could outweigh the math. Maybe, of course, the math department is enough; I don’t know. And obviously it sounds like you’ve thought about it a *lot*. Either way, I’m sure you’ll be really happy.

    If you have any questions about Williams (in order to decide where to go or if you do decide to come here), you can call/text/IM/GChat/Facebook me!

    • April / Apr 23 2009 10:30 am

      Well, it’s not just the math department– it’s the kinds of people (students and faculty) whom a phenomenal math department attracts. And it’s also other things. And it’s also the money (of course). I have in fact thought about it a lot… but I will probably think about it even more…


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