I love when people ask me on tour why I chose McDaniel because my story is pretty unique. As a Senior touring many colleges, I was overwhelmed by all the information each one gave me about their student life, academics, and professors. I couldn’t take everything in at once. So I narrowed my focus down to three important variables. 1) I had to feel welcome (obviously) 2) I had to like the theatre space since I was going in as a theatre major and 3) I had to like their sweatpants. As a dancer, the comfort of sweatpants is very high on my priority list. Plus, I knew it would be a great way to figure out how comfortable I would feel at the school if I felt comfortable in the sweatpants.
So the first school I went to was my mom’s alma mater and it was nice to be led around by her and here all of her college stories. It jst so happens that her college roommate is now the head of the theatre department there so we got a personalized tour around the new facilities and I felt very comfortable in the theatre because people were so welcoming to me. After the official school tour, I went over to the bookstore and bought my first pair of sweat pants (that I do still wear to this day). By the end of the day this school was pretty high on my list and the sweatpants got a lot of wear out of them.
The second school was a big university that many of my friends were considering as well. The theatre department did not seem at all important to this school which was its first down side for me and then the sweatpants were so overpriced that I didn’t even bother buying a pair because I was so unhappy with the school and knew I was not going to fit in there. However, I do still support this school when it comes to athletics. Just because I don’t attend school there doesn’t mean I’m not a fan and its a great excuse to visit my friends from high school that love it there.
The third school I visited was not one I had been looking at. In a moment of miscommunication with my mom and my guidance counselor, we had mixed up this school with a different one I was looking at. To be nice, we still toured the school but I could not see myself fitting in there. I didn’t have any other cons for this school except it wasn’t one that was on my list. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the colors so the sweatpants didn’t really reach out to me. So that one was out.
The final school I toured was McDaniel. Best for last I suppose. I immediately felt welcome in the admissions office. Betsy, my admissions counselor met with me for an interview and I remember her telling me to relax. Then I went on tour and fell in love with the campus. It was a gorgeous warm day and I felt that cliche feeling of belonging. It was completely surprising. Before this day I hadn’t even given McDaniel two thoughts. And by the end of the day I was pretty much sold. I went to the bookstore and bought the sweatpants. Once I tried them on for the first time, I was hooked. I was ready to put in my deposit right then. Luckily all the other, probably more important, factors worked out and I was able to attend McDaniel in the fall.
I am now the proud owner of 2 pairs of McDaniel sweats and I wear them very often. Turns out my trial-by-sweatpants worked out in my favor. Everyone has a way of choosing the right school. I always encourage you go with your gut no matter how ridiculous the reasoning may seem to others, if it makes sense to you and makes you happy then you can be happy about the school you pick.