April Visit Days: Prospies Gone Wild

Vanessa Persico

When I came for April Visit Days 2005, just a year ago this week, I was utterly spent. The college search had built me up, let me down and messed me around, buttercup, so that when I finally arrived here, I was begging to be convinced that this was the place for me.

My gracious hostess and her friends formed an almost maternal cadre, ushering their “prospies” from activity to activity: dinner at Starr Rink, the Upright Citizens Brigade show, the a cappella groups and, the next morning, classes. I was so enthused that I actually attended three classes in a row.

I was a worn out high school senior with a taste for the hokey and a quasi-journalistic desire to investigate what made Colgate, Colgate. Parties would be the same at any college, I figured.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I was asked by the girl I was hosting to let loose and go party it up with a few of my hall mates…at 7:45 p.m. on a Tuesday night.

The fact is that every single person – presidents, deans, custodians, alumni, students, high schoolers and the rest of the world – has a different perception of what the college experience is and should be. No two prospies are looking for the same thing when they come for AVD. Besides, even with the Overnight Hosting Program’s efforts to match up prospie and host by interests, given the multifarious prospies that flood the campus during these Tuesdays in April, there’s no guarantee that the prospie is looking for the same thing that the host wants to show him or her.

Colgate is a place that offers everything from lectures by Nobel laureates and ambassadors to the drag ball to art galleries to the Jug to charity auctions to irreverent improv comedy and back again. To be perfectly honest, this is the chief reason that I wound up here: the sheer diversity (yes, I said the “d” word) of activities free to be explored. That and the way the stars looked around the Chapel last April as my hostess walked me to the a cappella concert.

Along with this array of activities comes an array of tastes, so don’t be discouraged if you and your prospie aren’t exactly ready to pick out a townhouse together. If he or she wanted to know about the literature program and you don’t know Beckett from Bront?, go find a bibliophilic friend for him or her to grill. If he or she wants to see Charred Goosebeak and you’d rather char parts of your own anatomy, there are enough people hosting during AVD that you should have no problem finding a friend who’s going to the show with his or her prospie. That way, the prospies can get talking, too; some of my best memories of AVD were of chatting and commiserating with the prospie of my hostess’s best friend.

The girl who stayed over with me on Tuesday was accepted early decision. She had also already stayed overnight once, back in the fall term. Maybe she’d had quite enough of Colgate-sponsored events (an easy thing to tire of, even for me) and was ready to dive into the social scene and make a few friends. From what I understand, she was successful in that, and I’m very happy that she had a good experience with the side of Colgate that she wanted to see. A host can’t ask for more.