Well, it’s that time of year again.
For three weekends in a row, our small campus is descended upon by hundreds of candidates and their parents from around the world to be interviewed, judged, and not evaluated. Current Oliners, alums, parents, staff and faculty are called upon for help with the design build, interview panels, club fair, performances, Friday activities and the dorm Open House on Saturday.
People who organize the design build and Friday activities plan these events for months in advance, giving up free weekends and countless hours during the week, postponing work, friends and other commitments to focus all their energy to ensure that candidates have an enjoyable time on Friday and a fun and challenging design build.
Interviewers go through training and prepare questions ahead of time in order to get the best feel for candidates in the short amount of time they have to ask questions. During Candidates’ Weekends, they spend hours interviewing groups and individuals and have little energy left at the end of the weekend.
Countless others put on the play, musical performances, fire shows, promote clubs, show off personal projects, talk about classes and meet and entertain candidates during open house on Saturday.
Even if a person decides to have no involvement in Candidates’ Weekends at all, it is impossible to not be effected by it. Having 70 candidates and their parents on campus every weekend makes a huge impact on our small school. Students are forced to go to the dining hall at odd hours, people doing group projects have even more difficulty meeting with each other if other team members are involved in activities. If you live in West Hall, good luck getting anything done during open house.
Despite all of this, Candidates’ Weekend is an integral part of what makes Olin so special and different from other schools. It is so important to have these weekends to get to know the people we could be spending years with, taking classes with and living with. It is also important for possible future students to get to know Olin.
Although Candidates’ Weekend is a difficult and stressful time of year for almost everyone involved, the benefits of getting to know future Olin students outweigh the downsides.