Sunrise in Mexico.

The experiences you all have this summer and at other points in your life are truly ones that set you apart. Each story and encounter together are what help you stand out from your best friend, classmates, and even a twin if you have one.

Like many of you, I wanted an experience this summer, something to keep my journey going. Perhaps a new place or experience that would impact how I looked at life or myself. I spent a week in a house with 21 of my family members…! Yes I said 21 people in one house! I learned patience, finding opportunities to reflect and find alone time amongst the chaos, and how no matter what happens I have a support system that tells me when I’m wrong and encourages me to try my best. On this adventure I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and came back with a new perspective.

That is just the beginning. Every time I look at this picture, I think about what that experience meant to me. Back in the reality of admissions, the picture took on a new meaning. If I were in the shoes of the applicants I speak to regularly, this picture and experience could help me begin to think about the essay prompt, “Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you”. The essay topics are there for you to give us in admissions a glimpse into the real you. We want to take a journey with you, or maybe go on your family vacation, to understand a bit more about the person you are, the person you aspire to be, and the things that make you, you.

Summer is a perfect time for you to take advantage of the campus visit and tour and get a first look at a college campus. The thing I love most about this time is the plethora of programming happening on campus. Taking the time to spend the entire day on campus through an essay workshop, pre-college events, or an overnight experience through a sports camp, are great ways to learn the ins and outs of a shortened college experience. You get to experience a life away from home (for a short while), eat in the dining hall and taste the food, and make new friends who have at least one thing in common with you. This opportunity can help you think differently about the traditional college visit that you will continue to have this summer and throughout the year. You will find out whether or not you love having green space to play bocce ball and Ultimate Frisbee with your friends, or if you prefer to be closer to the city parks and see the rest of the world steps away from your residence hall. The hope is that with each of the extended visits you will be better informed to make your final list of colleges that you will apply to.  

I am giving you a challenge…if you have not yet spent more than 3 hours on a college campus, find an opportunity (like the Wall Street 101 program we offer here at Bentley or our Open House on Sunday September 28) and explore. Learn something about the campus and more importantly about yourself. 

I love exploring college campuses and the feeling you get from stepping on to a new campus. My goal is to always figure out if it can be home. Bentley gave me that feeling, and the more I explore, the more I find new places and people who make this community mine.

The beginning of summer generally means lazy days, beach days, vacations to exotic and not so exotic places, and perhaps a summer job?! However, the past few weeks at Bentley University we have been fortunate enough to welcome many students from the class of 2018 to campus for Summer Orientation. This is when the student affairs staff and the Bentley community familiarize the newest additions to our community, and their parents, to the campus (residence halls, academic buildings, etc), the academic opportunities and support systems available and the variety of services now at their fingertips as official members of our community.  

What is Summer Orientation? Great question. It’s three days and two nights of workshops, group bonding, class selection, a residence life experience, and the opportunity to explore all of the facilities and services at the university. It’s almost as if we have our own version of summer camp that ends a bit too soon, with the promise of a reunion in just a few short months (also known as the beginning of the fall semester). 

Summer orientation is just the beginning, it reminds me of one of the many reasons why I love admissions. All of the hard work each of our new additions did throughout their four years of high school and the time we in the admissions office spent crafting the incoming class comes together for the first time. We get to celebrate our continued traditions here at Bentley. Our sleepy summer campus is vibrant again for six whole days. 

Thinking ahead - this could be you. A year from now once you have finished the arduous, but rewarding, task called the college application process, you could be one of the many we welcome to Bentley’s campus for the summer orientation for the class of 2019. Simple enough. My advice to you - when the application process becomes challenging or you become nervous about getting in, just envision yourself at YOUR Summer Orientation because even though the process can be a bit daunting your orientation is right around the corner and you too will be a first year college student.