Candid Admissions


let the games begin

For the last few months, our mailbox has overflowed every day with 10-12 new solicitations for Sam from schools as diverse as Amherst College and the University of Texas. Ten to twelve, every single day, and he’s just one kid.

I am in horror to think of the number of trees sacrificed in this yearly courtship ritual.

[Just a thought: Electronic devices loaned specifically to high school juniors to which schools could forward their temporary protestations of eternal admiration and desire. There’s got to be a break even point eventually.]

A little poking around on the internet found this surprisingly candid revelation from a college admissions officer:

“We absolutely adore you until we don’t admit you. Then we want you to go away. Quietly.”

To his credit, Sam is taking this fleeting display of devotion in his jaded stride, though denial is certainly a factor, too. He really can’t imagine that one day, in approximately 500 days, he will be Elsewhere.

But where? Doing what? With whom?

Not a clue.

So, it is in an act of faith actually that we are committing precious resources to treks to the Pacific Northwest, New England and Virginia. What do we expect?

Having lived in Oregon, we expect rain, though less than you might think if you’ve never lived there.

We also expect to be wined and dined. We expect to be engaged by intellectual communities, wowed by technological innovation, mesmerized by state-of-the-art libraries, distracted by shiny new athletic facilities, consumed with confidence that our son would perfect himself and find his soul mates in just such a setting.

We expect to be besotted; to fall hopelessly, madly, passionately in love with one of the schools.

And then, odds are, to be rejected by that school.

Look, I say this with utter conviction that things like college admissions mostly work out.

In the Venn diagram of :

  • All colleges and universities
  • Colleges and universities that Sam is interested in
  • Colleges and universities which ultimately admit Sam

…there is plenty of overlap. He will be an Eagle or a Griffin or a Pioneer or a Lord Jeffrey Amherst, for gawd’s sake. And it will be Sam’s college.

And they will be lucky to have him.

Reed's View Masters slayed me!

Reed's View Master tours slayed me!


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