It’s 6:30 a.m., and I’m sitting in a Starbucks outside of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. It’s late October, but before the official clock change that comes with Daylight Savings Time, so it’s pitch black outside. Inside, there’s a teenager asleep in a chair and other worker bees like me typing away on their devices. It is travel season.
I’m in my eleventh year at Tufts having started as an associate director of undergraduate admissions back in the summer of 2008. When I arrived in the office, I couldn’t wait to plan my travel and get out on the road to meet eager high school students anxious to learn the ins and outs of the Tufts campus and our application process. Back then, New York City, southern New Jersey, Virginia and North Carolina were mine to explore and cultivate relationships with students and college counselors.
When I took on the role of dean in 2016, things shifted. I suddenly had more meetings to attend, more task forces to be on, more people who “just needed a minute." All of these are good things and come along with increased responsibilities, but they took me away from why I became an admissions professional in the first place - the opportunity to interact with students, families, and college counselors as decisions about post secondary education are being made.
Due to an influx of fresh new faces in Bendetson Hall, there was an opportunity for me to step in and do some travel. Now was my chance! I could relive the glory days of being on the road, just me and my GPS against the world (and the traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway). I jumped in with both feet and remembered how exhilarating (and exhausting!) it is. I have loved being in high schools, answering questions from eager students and, hopefully, allaying some of the fear that can come along with the college admissions process.
My colleagues and I so enjoy meeting you while we’re out on the road. Whether it’s in your high school, at a college fair, or at one of our workshops on selective college admission, know that we love what we do. And we’re human. After all, applying to college is a human process - one that has lots of feelings and emotions tied up in it. Whether you’ve decided to apply or not, and no matter what the decision that comes back to you, know that meeting you and hearing the story that you share with us through your application has impacted us and made us better admissions professionals along the way. For that, we thank you.
Photo: Xiaozhou Ding | Flickr