Do YOU want hundreds of Free College T-Shirts?
It was the summer of my freshman year--the peak of possibility--and I was bored to death. There was nothing to do. So, I took to the internet to solve my boredom. After hours of surfing the web, I chanced upon a story about a high schooler who had emailed every college and university in the United States and asked for a free t-shirt. He explained how he received nearly a THOUSAND shirts. I was impressed and I knew I had to do the same. But how?
T-Shirts don't just magically end up in your closet unless you have a mom who does your laundry, so I had to do this the hard way. I was going to have to email them all. Every last one of them.
It was simple. Tyler Burns, the creator of the legendary idea, told how it took him almost two minuets to send out one email. If I were to go the same speed it would take me a lifetime to finish. There had to be a faster way. Using my witty intelligence and charming good looks, I devised a system that put him to shame. It was so good I was shooting off email at eight times the speed--one every fifteen seconds. Instead of spending my whole summer writing and sending these emails it took the better part of three weeks.
This is my favorite part by far. One of the emails I sent out was to a female only institute in Georgia. Now, I hadn't realized that this school was like this, so their response came as a pretty big surprise to me. Brenau University sent in response to my email this, saying,
"While our primary undergraduate school is the women's college, we do encourage male students to apply for and attend classes at Brenau. However, the experience may not be the same for you as it would be at a traditional co-ed university."
I bet the experience of attending an female only school as a guy would be different! In the end, Brenau didn't send me a t-shirt. But they did send me a nice pen.
Then it began. The first T-Shirt arrived three days after my initial email. It was beautiful. A stunning work of purple art from Ashland University in Ohio. A cotton masterpiece! I wore that one over two dozen times. The t-shirts slowly trickled in over the course of a week. Then, like the atomic blast of a supernova, the t-shirts came in droves. The mailman showed up at my door carrying twelve shirts sent directly from the the university admissions office. It was like Christmas! Places like LSU, Ohio University, and University of Nebraska were pitching in and sending shirts.
Of course there were many unique ones! I received a shirt from the New York Fashion Institute of Technology, that had spelled across the back, "If loving fashion were a crime then I'd plead guilty!" Another school, I'm not going to name names, sent me a bright yellow v-neck whose V was so deep, it stretched down almost to my belly button. Paul Quinn College, instead of sending me an adult small mailed me an adult XXXL one. Needless to say, I could've fit three of me in there.
With all these shirts, I of course took the opportunity to give most of them away. Local charity event? I gave them some. Goodwill? Of course. Christmas presents for the family? I wrapped a few up and put them under the tree. I'm not the jockiest jock that ever jocked, but when I did sports, I always kept an extra t-shirt on hand just in case someone forgot theirs. When they would try to give it back I’d say to them, “Keep it. I’ve got enough.”
I didn't only receive t-shirts. Many colleges who didn't have clothes to spare, gave me other items. I got thousands of pens and pencils, a flag for game day from Western Michigan University, and piles of posters. National American University sent me an umbrella of all things! Pace University in New York, way by far the most generous. Contained in their package were three shirts--a t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, and a sweatshirt--a Pace University coffee mug, a notebook, a tin of mints, and a handful of pencils and pens. Hats off to them!
Posters plastered my walls. Stetson University sent me a poster of their rowing team in action. University of Alaska--Fairbanks gave me a six-foot panorama of the Alaskan wilderness. My favorite was from The University of Chicago--a beautiful aerial view of their campus. After a few weeks, the walls of my room became so covered that I had to start hanging them on my ceiling. When the flow of posters finally stopped, I had wallpapered every available inch of my room with college material.
During this experience, I discovered many amazing colleges and universities. This is my top three list of schools I had never heard of before:
1) Olin College of Engineering
2) Reed College
3) Pace University
The most incredible thing about my story is that you can do it too. Everyone I know who has tried this has experienced at least some sort of success. By the end of this, you'll be considering completely new schools. It's like discovering delicious new flavors of ice cream for the first time.
A couple of months ago, I was browsing the internet again and I found a website claiming that they had the most comprehensive list of colleges in the United States: around four thousand. I'm pretty sure in the last two years another 2,500 colleges haven't been founded. So I did it again.
It was even more awesome the second time. I challenge you to go, discover, and try new flavors of ice cream and you might just end up somewhere unexpected.
Brigham Young University
First Round Shirts
Second Round Shirts
Total Pieces of Mail Recieved
Total Emails Recieved