I already enjoy the fact that I can wake up at a slightly later time in college. In the morning, we attended a series of orientation lectures by the deans of Whitman College. They focused on the college’s programs, study breaks, drinking, student responsibilities, and the illusion of effortless perfection.
In the afternoon, we attended a presentation by Reverend Sam Offer. He was a remarkable orator. During his lecture, he had an exercise where students stood up if they identified/agreed with the statement on the screen. For example, he would say stand up if you are: male, female, gay, conservative, liberal, upper middle class, speak another language, from the east coast, have an addict in the family, etc. This showed me the vast diversity in backgrounds, identities, and personalities in the Class of 2020. It was fascinating. When he finished, we had discussions in our zee groups about diversity on campus. One questions came to mind after reflecting on this issue: how does the university ensure that there is diversity in the class without compromising on the idea of meritocratic admissions? Even setting aside the political issue of affirmative action, how does the University compile this many people with very different beliefs and backgrounds all in one class? The complexity of the entire college admissions process still boggles my mind.