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The College Search This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   In the beginning of senior year, my dad and I went tomany college promo sessions, where admissions officers lure parents and studentsto their territory and cloud them with the gas of magnificence. In other words,they promote their college.

These were fun times for me. Following typicalteenage protocol, I made sure my dad knew that under no circumstances was he tospeak to anyone without my supervision, so that I could interject when he startedto act weird.

There was, however, never any opportunity for conversation.Each family kept to themselves for fear of being labeled "too loud for saidsituation" by the admissions people, thus totally obliterating their chancesof acceptance. Instead, everyone eyed each other, assuming the others were dumband did not deserve their time or energy. We all knew the worst thing one coulddo at a college promo was be seen speaking with someone dumb. Thus, the parentsand teen merely discussed aspects of the school in hushed tones, so as not todivulge their higher understanding to the surrounding dummies. This was theestablished system of college promo protocol; it was unofficial, but taken veryseriously.

But who really cares about conversation anyway? It was commonknowledge that the real reason we were all there was for the free food; even theadmissions people knew that. I wished I had brought larger storage containers;one can fit only so many croissant finger sandwiches and brownies into threeZiploc bags.

Anyway, once the college had us, it was time to enthrall us.They began the universal self-praise session, in which alumni talk about theirsuccesses (due entirely to the college) and current students share theirenlightening experiences. They didn't mention the all-night beer parties, though.

We, the prospectives and parents, clapped half-heartedly for eachspeaker, hoping it would all be over soon and that the catering service had notyet removed those tasty little petit fours. It really didn't matter what theysaid anyway; it was all tainted propaganda. But, like all the other teens, I keptmy look of subdued awe and wholesome optimism, on the inside singing (to the tuneof "Mary Had a Little Lamb"), "I want a big scholarship,scholarship, scholarship ..."

And then it was over.

Prospectives rushed over to the current students and speakers to askintellectual questions so as to ensure acceptance since, after all, it was theseindividuals who were in charge of the selection process.

Then, thoughthey would never admit it, everyone scurried out to their cars and ripped offtheir nice shoes so their unhappy toes could finally stretch out. Ahh, we allthought, seemed like a good school. They had great food.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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