When I first met Garth, we didn’t talk about college at all. Yes, I was told beforehand that I would be meeting a renowned “college admissions counselor,” so college should matter a lot, right? In our hour-and-half-long conversation in a quaint coffee shop in the heart of Beijing, the topics ranged from our communal love for science-fiction to conservationism to geopolitical tensions caused by regional climate differences. I walked out that coffee shop, not a bit more knowledgeable about what personalities or activities that Harvard or Yale wanted, but a better understanding of how the Mediterranean weather affected the Palestine-Israeli conflict. And yes, that I desperately wanted to have Garth as my genuine friend.