College mail: a step-by-step guide to utilizing your spam folder

Ethan Jackson, Staff Writer

I go outside. The wind blows in my face and the cold rain showers over me. I open my mailbox as quickly as possible but then freeze. A letter, with my name on it, from a prestigious college. I stare, excited, but also a bit sad as my check from work just got soaked by the rain. 

Every single year, in every single high school, millions of students in the United States receive mail from colleges, whether it is physical or electronic mail. This mail typically includes a note saying that the college has noticed this particular student has achieved “academic excellence,” and would greatly benefit from looking into their college. Let me tell you something: as a sophomore that has started receiving college mail, this is a lie.

When I got my first letter of interest, from a small private institution in Hawai’i, I felt immediate excitement. It was like I had finally been noticed for my 3.8 GPA and playing basketball and working at my local Synagogue. I thought I was the stuff. Reading down the letter, I thought to myself, is college mail a scam? Why on earth are they asking me to list my contact information and “verify my interest” in the school? As an excited student, I listed my email. From there on would mark a hurricane of mail from desperate colleges. 

Day after day, electronically and physically, I received letter after letter. My brain became numb, I stopped opening mail, my inbox filled up each and every day, 50 unopened emails, 150 unopened emails, 500 unopened emails! My oh my, if you want me so bad just ACCEPT me. Direct admittance on an academic scholarship! I’ll go to your school if it was like that! 

But no, these colleges mail millions of students around the United States, asking them each and every day to apply to their school, saying it would be a great fit. Let’s be honest: being a “great fit” is not the best incentive to apply to your small college in the middle of Arkansas, but a good program and giving me a lot of money will be the ticket to my application!

Despite the shiny paper colleges use to send me letters, they are nothing but pulp fiction.