Why Accepted Students Days Don’t Have to be So Fake

Decorations and signs line the quad for Accepted Students Day. Photo by James O'Connor
Additional signs on the quad are part of the campus improvements for Accepted Students Day. Photo by James O’Connor

Have you noticed that as the semester draws to a close the flowers are replanted? Have you noticed the buildings are suddenly miraculously cleaned, the quad is covered in signs professing our values and accomplishments? These signs seem to grow right out of the ground as, though we live here and pass the quad every day, we have never seen them before.

Maybe you have also noticed that, with the these changes, the campus is suddenly populated with nervous looking kids, as new to us as the signs and flowers, who are trying to avoid looking awkward as they inspect the campus, parents in tow. To any experienced Jasper these are all the signs of one thing: accepted student’s day.

Maybe we bitter that the campus doesn’t always look as nice as it does on these rare occasions. Or maybe we feel betrayed, knowing what we know now, from way back when we were applying, but the changes that come with accepted students days always come with some sort of criticism.

I am by no means saying Manhattan College tricks anyone into applying here, however; with the way MC builds up the campus around these accepted student’s days, there is an inevitable let down for the student who finds the picture that has been painted for them isn’t the reality of our campus.

I remember the accepted students day that I attended and can say without a doubt that it was the convincing factor with which I decided to attend MC. But that alone makes me question how fair it is to ramp up the work on campus, and to give it, what is essentially, a make over.

For me, liking the school had nothing to do with the banners, they were nothing more than something to awkwardly pose in front of while your parents forced a picture. These high school seniors are not stupid either. They know (and so do their parents) that any college they visit puts on a show, but at the end of the day, they are there to see what the college is really like.

From my own accepted students day I remember the good things: meeting current students who loved the college, and of course, the bad things: sitting in hours of tedious financial aid, registration and student life lectures.

The thing about these accepted students days is that the kids are here to see what it means when someone says “I go to Manhattan College.” They want to see where they will do their homework, where they will hang out with friends, what their rooms would look like and more. So do we show the banners hung from the buildings and signs placed on the quad, if that’s not really what it’s really like here?

I’m sure if you ask a current MC student or an alum, they wouldn’t say “the banners” were what drew them to Manhattan College. And I am sure that if you asked the parents and kids touring the campus on these accepted students days what they were most impressed with at the end of the day the answer would not be “the banners.”

Maybe this is an overly obvious thing to state, but the thing that makes Manhattan College great isn’t the banners, or the signs, or the flowers or the clean buildings. The thing that makes MC great is the people you meet while you are here.

True, eventually MC and all of its scenery becomes so commonplace to us that you begin to care as much about an empty flowerpot as you do about the pile of junk on your desk. But the idea showing an overly artificial MC campus to prospective students that simply will never live up to the daily look of our campus doesn’t seem right, more importantly though, it doesn’t seem necessary.

When it comes down to it, the reason MC is a great place to live and learn isn’t all of the stuff. The reason MC is great is the professor willing to talk to you after class, the friends you get to meet and spend every day with, and the overall community that comes with being a Jasper.