I remember when I pressed submit on my Common Application. I had been listening to Enrique Iglesias’s hit song “I Like It” all summer long while writing my essays and supplement. I played it once more as my finger hovered over my mousepad. The tension eased up a bit once I clicked the button, but the suspense was palpable seconds afterward.
Much of my November and early December has been reading your Early Decision applications. Your stresses, accomplishments, top notch grades, and SAT/ACT numbers all sat in an organized heap for me to read, analyze, and summarize. With all that done, I entered my first committee earlier this week and presented my thirty seven applicants with all their quirks, curiosities, and numbers in tow. From ballroom dancing to brewing coffee, your voices sing like every song Enrique Iglesias has ever made and it’s my job to present that.
The tension I felt in submitting my app is much like the tension that all of the officers feel as we enter committee. We are tasked with creating Tufts’ Class of 2020 and that is in no way easy. You are thoughtful, lovers of poetry, thespians, three sport athletes, tinkerers, breakfast aficionados, community builders, and are fascinated by space, literal and proverbial. We take all of these details into committee. It doesn’t help our decision to define you by a single number or trait. That would actually make everything monumentally harder. Your nuances and perspectives drive our conversations. The long table filled with snacks surrounded by 7 other wonderful officers also helps.
As we traversed the country and the world each day, one thing was clear: we love hearing about what you all do. Each officer presents their given region and gives us each student. I cover a wide swath of South Los Angeles/Orange County in Southern California, along with Long Island and some pieces of Massachusetts. One of my fellow officers in the 8-person committee, Hayden Lizotte, covers much of the Midwest. As you can see, there are very different regions all represented in the same committee.
Yes, things blend together, but your name and your style are consistently on display. One of my students spoke about programming a video game and one of Hayden’s spoke about punk rock. I could see how each officer contemplated and intently listened as I spoke about computer science. I looked around as Hayden spoke about the punk rocker and the same process was occurring. You might think we’d be asking “what are the SAT scores?” But instead, we listen. It’s almost like letting a wave wash over you at the beach on a summer day. It’s often just as refreshing. In many ways, Hayden’s applicants and my own were stellar. Yet, we have to parse together each applicant’s potential fit with Tufts. It’s not easy.
As I think back to my first committee experience, it was gripping to feel that same tension that I felt in 2010 for a second time. The truth is that you, the applicant, make my job exhilarating and help me shed that tension. Thanks for letting me meet you, my Early Decision I applicants. Hello, my Regular Decision applicants, nice to meet you, let’s talk. Do you like Enrique Iglesias?