Over the last couple of weeks, prospies have littered our campus. Yesterday, the Maroon saw fit to speak to exactly three of them—Ariel Matalon, Matthew Chan, and Jasmine Mathani. Here are some highlights of the chat:
Chicago Maroon: Why the U of C?
Ariel: I’m originally from New York City, and it’s really important for me to have a city lifestyle—to be close to a place where I can have very serious learning and serious courses but also, other than that, have internships and job opportunities as well.
CM: So are you worried that you’re going to realize Chicago is a better city than New York?
Ariel: Oh no, not at all. From what I’ve heard, it can come to be evenly-matched, but New York will stay number one for me.
CM: We’ll see.
CM: Why the U of C?
Jasmine: Well, high school was basically the most boring thing. Everything kind of was ruined in high school. I just did barely the amount of work needed to get an A, and then I would just read in my spare time. I think Chicago could put the fun back in learning, and I think it gets my humor, what with the essay prompts and the self-deprecation. It seemed kind of like a place where I could fit in.
CM: You mentioned free time. Are you looking forward to no longer having any?
CM: What are you most looking forward to when you come here?
Ariel: There’s a lot of hype about the Core Curriculum. I’m really interested to start exploring different classes. I guess I’m looking forward to a bigger challenge than high school and a different experience. I feel like all the professors here are very passionate about what they’re doing, and it’s exciting to imagine being a part of that.
CM: Are you going to be discouraged at all when all of your classes are taught by graduate students?
Ariel: Not at all. I think one of the best times to teach is when you’re still a student, still learning a field. It could be a more fun experience.
CM: What other schools are you considering?
Matthew: Right now I’m also considering Penn’s Wharton program and Duke.
CM: Great. So the thing about here is that it’s very hard, right?
CM: Very difficult. Why would you subject yourself to that?
Matthew: No pain, no gain. That’s what they say right?
CM: That is what they say.
Matthew: If I slack off in college, I’m not going to be as good of a person in life.
CM: So, it’s quite nice outside. It gets so miserable and cold and gray here that it’s often difficult to will yourself to continue living. You just mentioned that you’re considering UCLA, UCSD, and Reed College. These are all really nice places, so what’s your thought process behind considering the U of C?
Jasmine: I’ve lived in L.A. my whole life, so I’m used to that stuff. It’s something different. At least, if I come here and it’s the most miserable thing ever I can move back to L.A. and never come here ever again.
CM: So you’re from a cold place. Will the weather get you down?
Ariel: Not a chance. Obviously, the winter is very difficult, it’s windy, but that’s not a big deal to me. If anything, I’ll just spend my time in a warm corner in the library, just doing my work and studying when there’s below-zero weather. And then I’ll be ready for the spring and summer, when Chicago is a great place to be.
CM: The U of C is a very academic place. How do you reconcile this with any pre-professional aspirations you have?
Matthew: For me, that’s really the crux of my college decision. If I choose to go here, I’ll go to grad school, et cetera. If I go to Wharton, on the other hand, right out of undergrad, I’ll be making money in the finance sector already. It’s an interesting decision, but if I came here I would definitely go to grad school because it’s probably not possible to get a job right out of working with the Core and having a liberal arts education.
CM: See, I was kind of banking on that working out, so that’s unfortunate.
Matthew: Well, I guess it’s possible; it’s just not as practical.
CM: What else can you tell us about your career plans?
Matthew: If I went to Wharton, I’d pursue something in finance. Here, I would explore my options.
CM: So you’re really at a crossroads here, choosing between exploring the world and working for a money company.
Matthew: Yeah, exactly.
CM: I hope you make the right choice.
CM: First night on a college campus. Here, anyway. What are your big plans?
Jasmine: Pretty much just exploring the area and seeing if I like it and meeting my potential future classmates and seeing if I like them.
CM: And you?
Matthew: Go with the flow, you know? See what happens. I don’t know how things work here, so I’ll see. If it comes to burning down buildings…
CM: We don’t do that here.
Matthew: I’m just kidding.