Dear Bryan,

Congratulations! We are so pleased to offer you admission to our class of 2024. We cannot express how excited we are to have you on campus this fall.

We certainly hope you and your family are safe in these uncertain times, and that there’s still a little bit of stimmy money to be put towards your enrollment deposit. You will enroll, won’t you, Bryan? In retrospect, wait-listing you at all was a huge mistake. Of course you deserve to be here.

But the truth is, Bry, you weren’t our first pick.

Did this young man really write his personal essay about his grandfather? I chortled to the VP of admissions, Susan, as we discussed your application. Can you imagine being so obtuse as to believe we haven’t received fifty other “grandpa” essays this cycle?

Then Susan passed your paper over to Gary, our assistant director, who almost spit out his crudité when he noticed that you had scored a 4 on AP Human Geography. Who is this naïf? Gary exclaimed. Doesn’t he know that Human Geography is the easiest AP? Who is that supposed to impress?

Then the topic of discussion turned to your personal statement, which we tried to read aloud, but couldn’t continue without bursting into laughter. “I really admire the College’s commitment to a robust, participatory learning environment…” Gary couldn’t contain his laughter. I mean, really, Bryan. You ripped that right from our mission statement. I wiped a tear from my eye and turned to your CV.

But, I regret to admit, in the hurry to pass your hilariously un-indented résumé to Susan, a bit of raclette spilled onto the part of your oeuvre where you described founding a nonprofit to bring endangered animals to childhood cancer wards. Those were headier times, and it was fondue night, but I know that’s no excuse. Saving the pandas is an auto-admit, and we realize that now.

You belong here, Bryan. Forget what happened before, and simply love us unconditionally, without regard for how we’ve treated you. Yes, our admissions team was impossible to get a hold of when you had questions. Yes, we failed to fix the application portal for a few weeks in November. Yes, we forgot to find a current student to pair you up with for your visit, thus forcing you to wait with your mother in the Emily Dickinson Museum for three hours while we begged our hungover tour guides to pick up an extra shift.

But what matters is that we care about you now. It may have taken a global pandemic, a nationwide recession, and a tidal wave of deferments, but we realized what we should have known all along: you are good enough, and your $54,426 is just as good as anyone else’s. Your student ID is br5tp, and your temporary password is waitlistmistake345.