College Admissions Decision: Part V: Decision Time

See Parts I , II , III ,and IV in my series revealing where I’ll be going to college.

In the time between January 1 and April 1, when you hear back from schools, I reflected on what I’d want out of four years of college. Some things that came to mind included: a) study topics I can’t study anywhere else, b) form close relationships with brilliant teachers, c) form close relationships with students who can be friends for life, and maybe business partners, and d) increase my exposure to randomness.

On April 1st I got a handful of thick envelopes, and some thin ones too. The responses were all over the map, as predicted. Neither my counselor nor I knew what to expect, given my unique file. It all depended on how much the school appreciated what I did with my time the first two years of high school.

I was thrilled to receive acceptances at colleges which excited me, and in mid April took a trip to visit three schools: one in east Chicago, upstate New York, and east Los Angeles county. After returning from my three visits, I returned to San Francisco with a smile.

When I told my Jon, my counselor, where I’d decided to go, he answered with a grin, "Listen Ben, I don’t tell anyone this, but I’m going to tell you. Usually I say there’s no such thing as a perfect fit, but in this case I’m wrong. This is a perfect fit for you."

All around me my friends were hearing good news and bad news. Some people got screwed, some people got lucky, some people got what they deserved. Some people treated it as a pivotal turning point in their life; others, like me, treated it as another meaningful event nestled in a mosaic of cool, interesting twists and turns.

Since I had decided to attend a college that intrigued me, I now had to decide about deferral. The notion of Real Life University always intrigued me – especially the travel component – so I decided to defer my admission for one year so I could travel, work, and publish my book.

Tomorrow: Where I’m going and why

4 Responses to College Admissions Decision: Part V: Decision Time

  1. chi-city says:

    What college is in east Chicago? Are you talking like Gary University or something? University of Meigs Field?

  2. Ben,
    cant wait to read where you are going!
    Your curiosity and refusal to put yourself in a straightjacket strikes a chord…

    I spend my undergrad learning about transistors, microprocessors and computers. Got bored half-way through so worked in radio and wrote for a newspaper…then travelled a lot, worked again for a while…spent many years in the Diplomatic Service (sounds far more glamorous than it really is)…got bored again, did an MBA..tried to figure out what I really wanted to do in life…and then became a VC (still trying to figure out what I want to do in life…and yes, this career too sounds far more glamorous than it really is)..
    Good luck..


    PS by the way, I agree with Tyler Cowen…

  3. Anonymous says:

    “…some people got what they deserved.”

    What did you mean by that?

  4. Ben Casnocha says:

    I meant some people were accepted at schools to which they seemed statistically and qualitatively qualified, and rejected at schools for which there wasn’t as good a fit.


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