10 Prospective Students You’ll Meet This Spring

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Thought you put the days of college visits and anxious high school students behind you? Not so fast. Fondly dubbed prospies at many schools, they descend by the dozen. For many of us that can mean having a prospie shadowing us for a night. It’s always a gamble who’ll end up camped out on your floor, but odds are, they’ll be one of these ten.

Good luck entertaining one of these 10 prospies overnight—you’ll need it.


Remember your “I’m-never-getting-into-college” fears back in high school? You’ll run into a prospective student who’s quite vocal about that anxiety. Vassar freshman Chloe Catoya said, “I hosted two prospies once. They spent a lot of time talking, but instead of it being about their accomplishments or hopes to get into Vassar, it was about the fact they doubt they’d get in.” Sometimes it feels like high schoolers believe their changes of acceptance will go up if they predict the worst. But let’s be real, we all do that now for internships and jobs.


If you host often, you’re bound to show up one day to greet your prospie and find them MIA. Sometimes they never appear, but the stubborn ones who persevere show up bamboozled and exhausted, but there. “My prospie showed up so late that the admission office had closed and I had to meet her in front of the library. She and her mom got lost and stuck on a bunch of back roads. I ended up being given her phone number so I could find her once she got to campus,” Vassar freshman Anna Roberts said. As professors like to say though, showing up is half the battle.


You show up to pick up your prospie, and you’re both wearing the exact same pair of shoes. That’s only the beginning. Everything you do, your prospie does too, or wants to try. “I hosted an accepted student who had nearly identical interests academically and extracurricularly to me. I tried to give her an honest idea of what my typical day is at Vassar and a taste of what her schedule may look like if she comes here,” Catoya said. It’s a tad eerie, because they show you what you must have looked like not that long ago. But hey, it makes hosting a breeze.


Most of the time, nervous laughter and fastidious politeness make pretty standard fare for an overnight. Spending the night with strangers seems quite daunting after all. But then you have the exception. Some prospies might as well be cruising around their high school or lounging on their sofa. They exude not over-confidence but rather a supremely chill vibe, as if they’ve achieved inner peace and nothing ruffles them. These ones will make you irrationally envious and incompetent-feeling as you tear your hair out over the three papers you have to write by tomorrow.


The majority of the time, prospies show appreciation for us taking them under our wing for the night. But now and then, you get the sweetheart who goes above and beyond. Grinnell College senior Alex Schmiechen said, “My roommate hosted a prospective student who upon arrival gifted my roommate a one-pound bar of chocolate. The ironic part was that we didn’t even end up hosting her for the full night. We were walking to dinner when she started vomiting so her dad came and picked her up. Literally the very next morning a massive bouquet of flowers arrived for my roommate.” Unclear if they know we really don’t have any sway over their acceptance chances, but we would never turn down some good chocolate.


No other way to say it—sometimes prospective students are just plain attractive. When you add charisma and an easy-going personality, you’ll soon find your room crowded with friends “just dropping by.” Vassar freshman Ethan Pierce recalled, “He hung, laughed, shared stories and got voted hottest prospie by my hallmates (unknown to him) all in just under 24 hours.” Good luck, because as their host, you end up feeling like a pseudo-big sib and become inexplicably over-protective of this kid you’ve known for three hours.


Admissions offices typically do their best to avoid overnights on the weekends. But this doesn’t stop the most determined prospective students from seeking to spice up their experience anyway. Sometimes this means clusters of prospies running about at night in search of a party to slip into. But also watch out for the prospie who asks all your friends and every person they see on your hall if they have weed.


The ones who ask a million questions or fret about their chances can exhaust you, but the confident ones are a whole different ballgame. “The great-grandson of our art museum’s namesake scheduled his visit last minute and I was called just an hour before he arrived by admissions asking me to take him. He spent the night talking about how ‘pretty much already in’ he was and asked to be walked back to the dorm because he wasn’t enjoying my friends,” Pierce said. The antithesis of the Gift-Giver and the Pessimist, some legacies make you feel like they’re the ones doing you a favor.


Have an attractive roommate? Be prepared for the wide-eyed prospie who gazes soulfully across the room at them from their place on your bed. Not limited to roommates, this prospie may start to feel flustered around any of your friends. The bolder ones may throw some flirting in there, or in extreme cases, split from you completely to follow your friend around. But can you really blame them? From a high school perspective, college students look like gods.


For those of us who get jumpy with silences, the quiet prospie is an intimidating force. You can only deduce that they seem quite sweet and innocent, and you don’t want to accidentally scandalize them. However, if you crack through the silent barrier, you’ll find the quietest ones often have some of the most fascinating personalities. “She was super quiet and her answers to my questions were pretty brief. But she was super passionate about rap and gender studies which were two things I never saw coming! She was also a fencer, which caught me off-guard too,” Vassar freshman Molly Dolman said. Never underestimate the quiet prospie.

Maria is a sophomore English major at Vassar College. She adores dark chocolate, hot tea, a good book, and any activity that permits being barefoot. She has a pet rabbit in her dorm room.

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