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Choosing K

The story of how I ended up at Kalamazoo College is not incredibly inspiring, I’m afraid. Unlike most of my friends, I didn’t apply to a plethora of universities in my senior year of high school; in fact, I only ended up seriously considering a grand total of three, including K. I thought that limiting my options would make deciding which college to attend that much simpler, but the process, which included multiple admissions deferments and careful consideration of scholarships and financial aid, was a lot more complicated than I first anticipated. I agonized about making the right choice for weeks.

My parents, however, seemed to know that K was the right place for me even before I did. They eagerly signed the entire family up for one of the many “Visit the Zoo” programs and intended to get the most out of the experience. We went on a thorough tour of campus, visiting nearly every major building as well as a few of the first-year dormitories. We sat in on a number of alumni panels and informational events to learn all that we could about life at K. We ate at a faculty lunch and talked with professors in fields I was interested in, who, despite their impressive and intimidating titles and qualifications, were more than happy to answer any of my questions about academics and at K. Throughout all of this, my parents were growing more and more certain that I was destined to be a Hornet. But I still wasn’t sure.

Ultimately, it was seeing the K community “in action,” however, that finally convinced me to seal the deal. I sat in on a Women, Gender, and Sexuality course and was blown away by the subject matter within the first five minutes; the concepts discussed by the class were complex, important, and fascinating, not at all diminished by censorship or lack of student interest, as had been my experience in high school. Though I didn’t speak much, I didn’t really have to – nearly every student in the room not only eagerly engaged with the professor and with one another, but with me. Though I had worried a group of college kids wouldn’t want anything to do with a high schooler like me, they made a point to approach me and ask questions or offer advice and guidance – total strangers wanted to tell me how much they loved the school they went to and help me to succeed, should I choose to go there, too.

I left that classroom convinced not to wait any longer; I knew I wanted to choose K. I told my parents and together we filled out the forms, and I received a little button that let the world how “I deposited at K.”

Each and every day since then, even despite some ups and downs, I have been happy that I did.

– Addie Dancer ’20