College with Cam & Ken: Part 1 – The “Say Yes to the Dress” Principle

By Cameron and McKenna Hendrickson ’17

Hello IH sisters!

This is the first installation of what will hopefully be a long series of anecdotes and tips to help you get through the college process.

DISCLAIMER: We (The Hendrickson twins) are not admissions professionals or qualified to give advice on how to get into a college in any way. This series is here to share our perspectives and frustrations on the college admissions process, and to provide a forum for other students to vent if they feel so inclined. If you have questions about recommendations, transcripts, test scores or more, ask your college counselor or any admissions professional.

The first tidbit we would like to share with you has to do with making a college list. Although there are many headaches that come with applying to college, this has got to be one of the worst. You’re essentially being asked to make a list of 12 possible trajectories for your future with no inherent criteria or guidelines on how to do that. When we were formulating our college lists, it wasn’t just hard to evaluate what was good or bad about a particular school, but what schools you should be looking at in the first place. Therefore, we used a particular idea to help us pick colleges to further explore: The Say Yes To The Dress principle.

In the television series classic Say Yes to the Dress, there is a great harbinger of wisdom, and his name is Randy. Randy is Kleinfeld’s fashion director, and his job mainly consists of walking around the store and giving brides life-changing style advice. Randy never appears on an episode without two things: a fashionable suit and his infamous quote “It is not about how the dress makes you look, it is about how it makes you feel.”


Say what now?


We have no idea how a normal human is supposed to interpret a quote as nebulous as that. How it makes me feel? Wouldn’t I feel better if I looked good in it? Do I need to be comfortable? I am a complete idiot when it comes to wedding dresses, what if I choose a terrible one because in the first moment I looked in the mirror I hated it less than the rest?

We don’t want to beat the dress metaphor to death so I will get the point. We think a lot of the advice you get about where to go to college is just as mind-bogglingly useless as the words of wisdom Randy gives a potential bride to be.

“Fit,” that is what they say, the university has to be a good “fit.” We are sure that means something to seasoned admissions counselor, but to people like us, if we are being honest, the idea of a “fit” is just as lofty a concept as living on Mars.

So we will give you our own tangential interpretation of what Randy’s advice means. Trust your instincts. Trust your misinformed animal instincts. That is the best a person can do in a process that doesn’t seem to have one, single, simply definitive answer. The best we can do is stumble into our centers of higher learning like absolute idiots. But the good news is we can do it together. Yay.

We look forward to talking more about admission next week! See you then!

Cam and Ken.jpg

1 comment on “College with Cam & Ken: Part 1 – The “Say Yes to the Dress” Principle

  1. My heroes! A lovely advice column!

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