The invasion of the creepy college letters

Rachel Kaplan

Ever since discovering the plastic Play-mobile mail center in Community Childcare Center when I was four, I have realized my true love of life: getting mail. Unfortunately, because I have a significant lack of tall, dark, and handsome secret admirers and Australian pen pals, my side of the hall table––where all the incoming mail is to be placed––is usually vacant.

Two weeks ago, however, everything changed.

On the way in from my car on Monday, heavy Calculus book in tow, I spotted a small orange envelope. I was ecstatic––finally, a real letter marked to “Rachel Kaplan,” and everything lay innocently enough on my side of the hall mail table. Ripping open the letter, I read the “Dear Rachel….” and skimmed the rest of the letter telling me I would be the perfect candidate to attend Macalester College. It was boring––but, what the heck––mail was mail. Life was good.

The next day, three letters, all from colleges, waited for me on the table. The day after that: five. Then seven. Then twelve. I was officially a stalking victim of the American education system.

What had once been a happy escape out of my chronic lack of mail was out of control. The letters were creepy, all starting with phrases like “I have my eye on you, Rachel” and “I’ve been tracking your progress.” What was this madness?

Not only did they know my name, but they all had the perfect idea for the rest of my future including trips to Djibouti, environmentally sound bio-spheres, and volunteering with underprivileged children in Serbia. Of course, they weren’t trying to get me to choose their college, just trying to give me a broad range of my “vast educational opportunities.” Yeah right.

Any minute, I expected letters to come flying wildly through the fireplace like in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” If this didn’t come to a stop soon, I would have to nail up the mail slot like Vernon Dursley, lock myself in my room, and never come out, constantly livig in fear of creepy college letters.

Thankfully, over the next couple weeks the mail started lagging until it came to a stop all together– the terror subsided and I could resume my life in peace. Finally, I put my huge cardboard box stuffed with college letters that my mom made me keep in the deepest, darkest corner of the closet. I knew the mail table at my house would never hold such joy for me again.

One day three weeks later, though, a small square envelope from Gakushuin University in Toshima-Ku, Tokoyo appeared on the table. I chucked it in the garbage without a second glance and ran to my up to my room, slamming the door like a madwoman.