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So—here’s the thing. I know this essay thing is supposed to go a certain way. You, the college, provide the questions, and I, the college aspirant, provide answers. Answers that give you a sense of who I am as a person and what I have to offer your educational community, right? Answers that prove I’m not a dope. What are my most meaningful achievements, how do they relate to my future goals, how has my family background informed the way I see the world, blah blah di blah di blah blah blah.

Eh. Hard pass.

I think it would be a lot more interesting (and beneficial!) for us both if I tell you what I’m looking to GET out of college. Then, you know, you can tell me whether you think your university can offer that stuff, and then I can make MY decision about whether to go there.

It just seems to make more sense to me from a consumer point of view. Like, I’m the one who’s going to be going into shock to the tune of like 100 grand for the privilege of spending 4 years stomping around your quads, you know? (I mean technically my parents will, but probably I’ll be on the hook for at least part of it. We’re still working that out. I have a part-time job at a frozen yogurt place lined up this summer but not really sure how many hours I’m going to be able to get.) So anyway—I need to be able to make an informed decision about the stuff that’s important to me.

Let’s get started, (INSERT COLLEGE NAME HERE)!

1. A decent array of blow-off courses.

I’m not saying it has to be every class, and I’m not saying I don’t expect to have to EVER study while I’m in college. But I’m gonna be real: at least a solid 25-30 percent of my coursework is going to consist of stuff that I just don’t want to have to think that hard about, you know, like a seminar on reality TV or cookie decorating or like, the music of the Grateful Dead, that kind of thing. I’m gonna need a wide enough variety for eight semesters.

2. Co-Ed Dorms.

Bathrooms can be single sex; I’m definitely not looking for more education on what women get up to in the bathroom (two sisters here). But for six figures, I’m going to require some consistent mingling with girls I’m not related to, and (preferably) RAs who look the other way when the mingling turns to mashing, if ykwim? I’m in college now, after all. I don’t need a chaperone.

3. Dining Hall Options.

A couple years ago, my mom became a vegan. It’s my sincere hope that once I matriculate I never have to eat another piece of tofu, preferably never even have to lay EYES on one. I’m going to need meats to be made available to me three times a day, 7 days a week. Not picky about grass-fed or organic, just as long as the food had parents.

4. Ample Parking.

My car is small, though. I don’t need an assigned space, per se, just so long as I always have a safe place to put it? Preferably not more than 100 yards from the dorm entrance, that would work for me.

5. Strong Mascot Representation.

This is really more of a ‘nice to have.’ But honestly—I just don’t want to have to take a ration of shit from people mocking me about my school’s mascot when I go home for vacation. No horses, no dogs, no insects, nothing too abstract. Preferably nothing racist, although if it’s fierce enough I could still consider it.

Soooo, yeah. Those are the top 5! If there’s anything else about my needs or my preferences that you’d like to know, I’m happy to provide more information. Otherwise, I eagerly await your responses and, assuming that my needs can be met, I look forward to becoming a valued member of the (INSERT COLLEGE NAME HERE) community!

Alex Jeffers

Jessica Dunton Fidalgo

Jessica is a former stage actor who now has a real paycheck, health care and 2 strapping Yankee kiddoes. She’s lived in NYC, Chicago, and DC but prefers a Maine crabcake above any other.

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