In 1982 I convinced my parents to let me apply to U.S. colleges. I was supposed to go for a year and then return to England. I had other plans for myself. I was determined to complete my degree at the American college.
I obtained a Barron’s Guide to American Colleges. I selected 50 schools in the northeast of the U.S. — mailed letters to all 50 requesting admissions packets. Remember this was 1982 so no e-mail and no phone calls as the cost of calling was astronomical.
I applied to 7 colleges: in PA — Muhlenberg, Gettysburg, and Franklin_&_Marshall_College; in NY — Union and Vassar; and in MD — Washington College and Western Maryland College. I was accepted everywhere, except Vassar.
Now remember I did not visit any of the schools, nor did I interview at any of the schools, nor did I talk to an admissions officer. I simply completed my applications and mailed them airmail to the colleges. The only photos of the colleges were from the admissions brochures.
I arrived at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, on August 26, 1983. When I stood on the steps of the College Center looking at Hartman Green I knew I had made the right choice. The campus was beautifully landscaped, with a green and a quad, cramped dorms, questionable cafeteria food, but overall an enriching learning experience for me — an 18-year-old naive, English college student.