How Creative Thought Matters changed me
I spent most afternoons of my junior year of high school flipping through The Fiske Guide to Colleges. The 500-page book weighed me down both physically and mentally as I scanned each college listing, overwhelmed by the endless menu of choices.
Most schools felt off — excessive in one aspect or lacking in another. Nothing jumped out at me. My highlighter and Post-it Notes remained untouched.
Then I started to fret. Am I looking too hard? Am I overthinking this? Will I ever find a fit? I kept turning the pages, hoping something I couldn’t even define or articulate would reveal itself.
And sure enough, just like that, Skidmore appeared. (Though really, I was flipping alphabetically and I had finally reached the S’s.) There it was, hundreds of schools and pages into this giant book, a phrase I had never heard before: “Creative Thought Matters.”
Instantly, intuitively and much to my surprise, I knew I liked this. This is what I wanted from a school. But it came to life in an even more meaningful way as the pressure of my college search built.
Creative Thought Matters is aspirational. It’s a promise. And it invited me to imagine more for myself.
I began to daydream about Skidmore students who lived and breathed this phrase, strolling blissfully through a picturesque campus I hadn’t actually seen but I knew must be beautiful, inspired by professors I hadn’t actually met but I knew must be amazing. (After all, the college guides told me so.)
I began to wonder — did Skidmore students use their minds differently? Were they following different passions? Were they more free in their curiosities and expressions of themselves?
Then I realized something — Creative Thought Matters had changed the way I thought about college.
Once I read it, I couldn’t go back. College was no longer a predetermined path or something to carefully map. Rather, it was open, malleable and filled with the freedom to figure things out and change my mind.
I could go to a place where Creative Thought Matters without knowing exactly what I wanted to study and why. All I needed to understand was that there is no one way and no right way to use my mind. And in this case, my mind was made up. I belonged at Skidmore.
Sure enough, once I arrived I found multiple exciting, fascinating and interconnecting disciplines. My mind has stretched in ways that have left me puzzled, yet yearning for more. Four years here and Creative Thought Matters has manifested in me, given me permission to think bigger, try, fail, experiment and see things in new ways.
And as I prepare to move to the next phase of my life, I know that no matter what I do and where I go, I’m well equipped with the very phrase that intrigued me all those years ago.