Last week I experienced my first ever week of COMMITTEE!!! Throughout the week, I was nervous, excited, happy and sad. In my information sessions, I tell this anecdote about what I imagined the admissions world to be like and what my admissions counselor looked like. I always imagined an older grumpy man, possibly balding a little, with a frown on his face, a cigar in one hand and a giant red DENY stamp in the other. I thought that my application would barely be given the time of day but I realised it's really not like that!! In fact, each application is thoroughly read by two different admissions officers then brought to one of three committees.
In my committee of 9 officers and a table filled with snacks, we each took turns presenting the applicants from our territories, discussing until we reached a decision: admit, defer or deny. Our job is to make a case for you which as an Alum, is super fun! I got to tell the stories of all the Tuftsy kids out there, those who I could imagine writing for the Tufts Observer, tinkering in Maker's spacers, teaching as a STOMP-er or kayaking with TMC. Whether it was the kid whose invention I already want to use, the philosopher, the third culture kid, the soccer superstar, or the social justice gal, I genuinely loved advocating for you.
Over the course of 5 days, we globe trotted, discussing applications from New Jersey to Tennessee to Korea. The coolest part about committee for me, was actually slowly, day by day, figuring out how I got into Tufts. I sometimes joke that I don't know how I got accepted and that the joke's on Tufts because I squeezed my way through. However, I had a pretty skewed perception of how admissions officers evaluated my application and how much time was spent getting to know me. During these days, it was really cool to start understanding the admissions process and actually really respecting the process. Admissions counselors care about getting to know YOU! They care if you were the student council president, an eagle scout, or if you worked at your local ice cream shop for 15 hours a week! I never thought that another person (outside of my immediate family) would genuinely care about my admission to Tufts, and even go as far as fighting for my acceptance. I never thought that they would appreciate the perspective I would bring to Tufts. Sitting in that room made me realise and appreciate all the things I did and who I was in High School that contributed to some admissions counselors fighting for little ol' me. They knew I would be a good fit for Tufts and they were right!!!
That being said, committee was HARD. I ended every day feeling exhausted despite having sat on my butt and munching on donuts for 7 hours. The reality is, in a world of a 14% acceptance rate, there are going to be great kids that won't get in. There will be times that I will fight my hardest for a student, and that student still needs to be denied. I am realising now that the hardest part of my job will be saying no to genuinely Tuftsy kids whose applications I loved but still I take comfort in knowing that even for the wonderful students we have to say no to, they will go on to attend a great school. To everyone waiting nervously for a decision, I wish you the very best of luck! But please remember that college admission does not determine your worth as a person. It may not seem like it at the time, but you will be happy no matter where you end up, and you will go on to do great things in life! I promise :)