The nuisance of college advertising

“I don’t want to go to Southern Nazarene University!” I lamented as I shoved yet another college brochure into the trash can with more force than necessary. Logging onto my family PC, I saw with dismay that I hadn’t checked my email since Monday, and it was now Friday. I did a quick mental calculation to see how much email-checking time I had this weekend after factoring in homework, work, and everything else that was going on, and began deleting my 80 some-odd emails, one at a time.

As I handed out my 50th cookie jar blizzard that night, I was painfully reminded of my need for a college degree, provided that I didn’t want to continue to work at the local Dairy Queen for the rest of my life.

It’s senior year, and the culmination of college preparation and application is in full swing. As I journey through this somewhat overwhelming process, I invite you to experience the ups and downs of my college search with me.

Seniors, share with me the anxiety and the relief, the horror and the anticipation of senior year. Juniors and underclassmen, learn from my successes and failures.

The search begins with mail. Lots of mail. Seeing as how at least 75 percent of the college mail I get goes immediately into the trash can (after taking the proper amount of time to see the lovely campus, always pictured in autumn, and to peruse the main articles if need be), I consider this to be a colossal waste of paper. But why should I care about the environment? I’m not going to college to learn about ecology!

I have never believed that I would discover my best college option in a pile of mail; this may be the reason I haven’t. However, I do enjoy seeing how many times they can appropriately personalize my name onto a one-page brochure. What some colleges have not yet realized is that there is a fine line between a subtle personalization and a borderline stalker-like approach to grabbing attention. I feel violated if my name is included more than five times in a simple paragraph.

Along with the brochures come the calls. This is a sure violation of phone usage. Any conversation that begins, “I just wanted to see how your college search is coming along,” automatically fills me with the desire to toss the phone out my window and into a conveniently located trash receptacle. Maybe not everyone reacts this way; I hope not solely for the sake of the people getting paid to make these incessant calls.

At the same time, however, I hope that college admissions advertising workers realize how much of a nuisance they are to me. If I am interested in your college, I will check it out. If not, leave me alone so I can worry about my application and scholarship essays to the college of my choice.