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Stop Reading This Blog

Posted by on Thursday, February 26, 2009 in Admissions Committee, Advice for Parents, Balance, College Confidential.

Seriously, stop it.  Not to go all Billy Gates on you, but there’s this little squared red X in the top right corner of your computer screen and I’m begging you to punch it in the face.   Unless you’re a transfer student, all your applications are in, and unless you’re an early decision applicant and have already heard our decision, all you can do now is wait for us to make up our minds and mail you a letter.  We’ll be shipping those around April 1, so there’s this space between now and then that nothing new is going to happen.  So step away for a while and save yourself for the whirlwind of April when all the cards will be on the table, and us college folks will have to wait for your decision.

Sam Snead, the legendary golfer said, “To be consistently effective, you must put a certain distance between yourself and what happens to you on the golf course. This is not indifference, it’s detachment.”  What he’s getting at is that in an endeavor of difficulty where many things will go right, but many others will go wrong, the central actor must remain calm, untroubled, above it all, as if separate from the toils.  It’s not a break with caring, as Snead points out, it’s a form of personal resiliency from the stress and struggle.  I will at this point stop channeling my inner Bagger Vance.

Why am I writing this to you?  Isn’t this space just supposed to be used for updates on our admissions process?  Sure, it’s that.  However, I feel responsible to use this platform to 1) nudge our conversations beyond file reading or getting in to Vanderbilt (or wherever), and 2) embolden you to view your college search experience as a springboard for future big decisions in your life.  Today’s petition:  be active, be engaged, really own it, but have an off switch.

According to Google, more than a thousand people read our blog on a weekly basis.  We’re humbled by this.  But next week, we would love to see a number half that.  Get away from the college application process folks.  For a day, for a week.  We’ll leave the light on for you when you get back.  Plus, it’s all archived, so it’s not going anywhere.  Get diverted.  Go for a drive, read something for fun and not just in your Google Reader – preferably something with pages, download Yakety Sax to your iPod and just try not to smile, rent Con Air on DVD and remark at how John Malkovich‘s career literally disintegrates in front of your eyes with each passing scene, grab a friend on that first day that feels like Spring when everyone is charged to finally be out of doors, and just detach for a little while.  It’s called spring break for a reason. It starts with that little red X up there.

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  • Brad

    February 26th, 2009

    First of all, I’ve played golf with you Thom and he needs all the Bagger Vance channeling he can pull off. Second, I think Malkovich has had a very nice career post Con Air including his amazing performance as Osbournce Cox in “Burn After Reading.”

    He’s right on the main point.

  • Hillary

    February 26th, 2009

    I’m very insulted that you are denying the greatness of John Malkovich. Burn After Reading. Art School Confidential. And, of course, Being John Malkovich. How can you deny joy from these awesome, quirky movies?

    …Ok, I’m clicking the red X now.

  • Thom

    February 26th, 2009

    I contend that your thespian cred evaporates at the exact nanosecond that the line “Make a move and the bunny gets it” parses your lips.

  • Niko Bellic

    March 1st, 2009

    A thousand views a week? Stick some ads on here and see if you can’t make a little on the side :)

  • Cornelius

    March 2nd, 2009

    Hey, I know this probably alludes to my paranoia about all things college related, but just a quick question for you (if you’re allowed to even release these numbers, that is). How many students were actually rescinded last year? My grades have slipped, but not significantly in the slightest (just a few low Bs in the hardest courses at my high school). My brother attends UMichigan, and they rescinded 5 out 5000+ students last year, so I was just curious as to how many were rescinded here last year after being offered admission. Thanks! By the way, Burn After Reading was amazing.

  • Thom

    March 4th, 2009

    Hey Cornelius,

    The actual number of rescinded offers is typically very low. We will send out a handful (like 3 to 10) of letters that warn students that we have noticed their grades have diminished and that we strongly encourage those grades to improve. We have rescinded offers before, but it is very rare to be honest with you. We typcially won’t get worked up over B’s, but C’s and D’s might make us get a little cranky.