Okay, so the wait is over. You’ve been accepted! You’ve paid your deposit. You’ve checked your email four times a day hoping for any kind of information relating to when you finally get to campus in the fall. What’s next? Why not sit down and take a few minutes to thank the people that made it possible for you to post that “I’M GOING TO COLLEGE GUYS!” Facebook status. C’mon, you wrote a thank you note to your great great aunt Mildred for sending you ten bucks for your high school graduation. Don’t you think it’s pretty important to thank the people responsible for handing you the possibility of a higher education degree and a rockin’ future career? Yeah, I thought so.
All jokes aside, it’s a really great idea to write a quick thank you note to the admissions office of your future alma mater. For starters, it makes their day! Think about how happy it’d make you if someone you’d never met wrote you just to say how overjoyed what you do for a living has made them and how much you’ve impacted their life. At my school’s admissions office, most of the admissions deans have a wall in their office just dedicated to thank you letters from admitted students.
Another reason why it’s a great idea to send a thank you card is because you never know when you might run into the admissions staff while you’re on campus. It might come in handy to have made a good impression. The admissions offices of most universities offer tons of student jobs and opportunities. If you ever decide you want to be a tour guide or get an on-campus job or internship, you may be very glad that you put your best foot forward back in the day. Plus, the admissions staff writes great letters of recommendation that most students probably wouldn’t be able to provide because they didn’t make a personal connection with their admissions officer (wink wink, nudge nudge).
So, you might be wondering at this point how to go about writing a thank you letter to someone you don’t know. It’s easy! First, pick out a thank you card that reflects your personality, since your personality is probably what made your application stand out in order for them to admit you in the first place (bonus points if you hand make it).
It’s good to look up the “contact” or “meet the staff” page of your school’s admissions website as well. Most universities divide the admissions deans into certain regions that they each handle. Therefore, if you can find the specific dean that is in charge of your state or region, specify “Attn: [that person]” on the address on your envelope.
When you get to writing, start off by introducing yourself. If there’s something you know you wrote in your application essay or included that really made you unique, feel free to mention it: “I’m the guy that wrote about collecting shirts with bananas on them” or “I’m the one that sent in that awesome video of me playing ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ on the clarinet”, etc.
From there, just feel free to say what you feel. How excited you were when you got your admissions letter or email. How you’ve dreamt of going there since you were a kid, or how you simply fell in love with the school on your tour. That you’re so excited to finally move in and start classes in the fall. That you’re so thankful you could hug them or bake them a cake or play them that “Livin’ on a Prayer” rendition in person. It doesn’t have to be ultra formal (unless you want it to be–that’s cool, too). Just make it honest, and show what you really think and feel. They’ll be excited and impressed enough as it is that you even took the time to write them to thank them.