Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting on an Early Admission Decision?

It's the hush and quiet pause in our office before the storm arrives with admission news.

Fresh acne has already broken out on my chin.

My finger nails are chewed down to salmon colored nubs.

And I have to resist the impulse to harangue admission officers to share early decisions.

Most of my emails to admission reps start with a Shakespeare quote (I'm teaching Macbeth right now to 10th graders).  

"The readiness is the all."

Forewarned is forearmed - right?

I've found that college counseling is a lot like coaching.

When you win, it's the players.

When you lose, it's the coach's fault.

Colleges never fire losing players.

So far, I've gotten a mix of responses from admissions reps.

Some say, "Because of the sensitivity of the admission decision, I can not reveal to you the results.  We wish the candidate the best of luck."

That's code for deny.

Then there are other colleges that have entrusted the decision to me.

Probably the worst part of the job is having to hold onto bad news for weeks before the student receives it.

It's also the same with good news.

Hard to repress the excitement for them.

Tomorrow, my colleague and I are getting an "admission preview" phone call from a highly selective school in regards to two of our candidates.

"Admission preview" - I like that.

Regardless, this is an unnerving time for all parties involves - students waiting, parents waiting, counselors waiting, friends waiting, communities waiting, board of trustees waiting (ugh!).

What then do you do during the waiting season?

For me, I've found that three things help me pass the time.

Books.  I just started Team of Rivals.  I saw the movie "Lincoln" on Friday and immediately went to Barnes and Noble and bought the book.  It's 996 pages of distraction.

Exercise.  I'm hitting the weight room a bit more these days.  Lifting and running helps relieve pent-up stress.  I always feel a bit more like a balloon inside instead of a bar of lead after I work out.

Fun.  There is nothing like a nerf gun war through the house with your 5-year old, or sumo wrestling on the bed, that doesn't bring perspective.  Or correction in terms of what is most important.

While I was walking back from lunch today, I saw one of our seniors in the quad area who is waiting on an early decision.

In between flinging the neon orange Frisbee, he was doing handstands.


You ought to try it.

The smile on that student's face told me that regardless of the news he hears next Friday, he's going to be alright.

So will you.