“The Postcard with the Coffee Stain”

How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to Chicago.

One of the first pieces of mail I ever received from The University of Chicago grossed me out. It was the size of a postcard, folded up, and had a big coffee stain right on the front. I figured that either a) the mailwoman had spilled coffee on it or b) the admissions staff at the University of Chicago had used it as a coaster prior to mailing it out. Obviously, this did not give me a very good impression of the University, until I was smart enough to actually look at the stain and realize that it wasn’t actually the outline of a take-out coffee cup. It was meant to look like one, however; so congratulations to your graphic arts department for fooling at least one of the recipients of that postcard. So what is the significance of that coffee stain? Well, it persuaded me to open the postcard to find out why there was a big brown ring on the front. And then I was persuaded to find out more about the college that had sent me this piece of mail, which persuaded me to apply to that college based on what I had discovered. I discovered a school that takes great pride in its location, students, and faculty, for which it cannot be blamed. I discovered a school that ensures that all of its students are well-versed in all academic areas, and not just the area in which they have a major. I often find it disconcerting when schools make it so easy for students to be exempted from core requirements based off of AP scores or the like. I believe that it should be the purpose of colleges to create as well-rounded students as possible, in order to promote a greater appreciation of other academic fields. The University of Chicago seems to share my belief in that. Because of that postcard, I discovered a school that has strength in so many different academic areas. I plan to enter the public health field, and in preparation from this, I plan on majoring in public policy and biology at an undergraduate level. I know, that if I go to the University of Chicago, I will earn an amazing education in both fields. With a biological sciences department that offers seven different concentrations within the same major, I can see that the University of Chicago is determined to offer breadth within their majors, and that they must have a diverse faculty in order to teach so many different subjects. The public policy department allows its students to gain a thorough knowledge of many different areas of public policy, along with practical experience at an internship. The most important thing that I discovered from that postcard, however, does not deal with academics. I discovered that the University of Chicago, for all of its outstanding achievements, does not take itself too seriously. And that there are great coffee shops around campus.

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