They’re after me, I thought with a sense of mixed horror and exhaustion. It’s no use. I can’t get away. They know where I live. They have my e-mail, even my phone number. I’m doomed.
I picked up the school newspaper, ready to kill a few minutes at the end of class. A handout fell out and spirals to the floor. I tilted my head to read it. ‘Washburn University: Become an Ichabod’
“Oh crap,” I said. “Colleges are everywhere.”
They really are, for a junior who scored reasonably well on her tests. And handouts are just the beginning. Colleges have gone borderline stalker to win me and my friends over. For example, the phone rang at about eight o’clock Monday night. “It’s for you,” my father told me.
I took the phone, curious. I never got phone calls. “Hello?”
“Hello,” said a cheery voice. “I’m a student from Truman University, and I want to tell you about our great opportunities.”
“Mmhmm.” I shot my father a death glare for catching me off guard and prepared to fend off another college.
But the worst so far would have to be an e-mail a friend got. “We’ve written a song for you,” the subject line announced with good will bordering on insanity.
“I’m afraid to open it,” she admitted under her breath.
“Let me look,” I said, taking her laptop and clicking. A poorly written rhyme presented itself. To the best of my memory, it went something like this:
because you’re so smart
we know you’ll request our school guide
it gives information for a head start
because you’re so smart…
After that gem of a poem, the Shakespeare hopeful had added, “What do you think? Should I keep my day job? Now help me prove the office wrong – they think no one will respond. Just click the link below.”
“Don’t click,” I advised, handing back the laptop gingerly.
She didn’t, but some classmates successfully freaked her out by convincing her that the college was now watching her through her webcam. She eventually taped a folded tissue over the camera. Just in case.
I’ve got to say, colleges aren’t really winning me over by taking over my life. When I return home to a stack of envelopes at my place at the table, all wanting me to pay thousands for the honor of attending, I just groan.
I should have botched a test or two.