Category Archives: Waiting

Approaching the Finish Line

As a distance runner for more than half of my life I feel like I just rounded the final corner of a difficult race.  The crowd is cheering, people are ringing cow bells and I can see the canopy of the finish line, but I am still not there yet.  This is the point where it takes everything I have to get through the last mile.  I will get there though, I’ve come too far and worked too hard not to finish with gusto.

Whether you realize it or not, we all – you, me, the Whitman Admission Staff and all the other applicants to Whitman – started this race together at the end of August.  That is when the college admission cycle truly took hold for seniors.  My colleagues and I hit the road and students started collecting and submitting application materials.  It has been a long time since then, seemingly a lifetime.  Applications have been submitted, materials reviewed and decisions are being made.  The finish line is in sight.

For my colleagues and I it is time to put on our favorite Pandora station or “victorious” playlist, we are making final decisions and about to admit our class.  For those of you waiting on us, hold on we’re coming.  Check out the “Songs to Wait By” one more time and know that a “Songs to Celebrate By” is about to be released, as well as our admission decisions very soon.

You have all run a solid race over the last four months, really four years, and deserve a crowd of people yelling your name.  Enjoy the last mile (these next couple of weeks), there is nothing like it, you went the distance and completed the college admission cycle.  When you cross that finish line, do it with gusto – you earned it – raise your arms and claim your moment.

Songs to Read By – Tillie

I have to admit that silence is generally my ideal ‘song’ to read by, but when I’m feeling particularly in the groove, I’ll put on my favorite Pandora station – Louis Armstrong. There’s nothing quite like Louis to put me in a better mood on a long reading day. Here is list of some of my other Pandora favorites:

1.        Alison Krauss & Union Station
2.        The Tallest Man on Earth
3.        Ingrid Michaelson
4.        Amos Lee

As for my favorite place to read- it is unquestionably on my big maroon couch with the sun pouring through the windows. On an indulgent day, I’ll make a steaming cup of hot chocolate (overflowing with marshmallows, of course!) and hunker down comfortably in my fuzzy black slippers. Pretty cozy for a work day!

Songs to Read By

I  generally like to keep my music upbeat when reading applications; it helps me set and sustain a good pace and keeps my energy level high, even when I’m pushing through into the third or fourth consecutive hour.  In no particular order, some of my favorites lately have been:

1) Ophelia - The Band
2) And Your Bird Can Sing – The Beatles
3) Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
4) Morning Sun – Al Barry and The Cimarons
5) Animal - Miike Snow (Punks Jump Up Remix)

So now you can probably guess my picks on the Songs to Wait By list last week. My favorite place to read is by far my house. Lucy, my puppy dog, can hang out and is more than happy to distract me for a minute or two in between each file. That way I can start each one with a fresh eye. Snacks are also in close proximity, a clutch component of being well-prepared for an afternoon of reading.

Promoting Failure

The inevitable, glorious deluge of applications is upon us! Reading between 6 to 8 hours a day of applications three to four days a week is a brand new experience for me, and intense in a rewarding sort of way even for the most seasoned admission officers. You can correctly assume that it’s hard to find the motivation to read much else–I certainly don’t have any plans to finally start War and Peace anytime soon–but we officers are mustering up enough energy to read, of course, college admission related news articles.

One of my favorites that was sent around the office this week was this article entitled “Want to get in to College? Learn to Fail,” by Angel B. Pérez , the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Pitzer, on the importance of failure as it relates to teenagers’ growth in all areas of life and the college application process. Our entire staff loved it, probably because of its relevance to our own lives right now as we comb through hundreds of Common Application resumes and essays trying to decipher who belongs at Whitman next year. The gist is the importance of failure to development and that admission officers actually often rejoice when they find acknowledged and discussed imperfections in applications. It’s a great, quick read; go check it out, especially all of you who will be writing admission essays and interviewing with your dream colleges in the near future.

Opportunity for Application Advice & Admission Update

As high schools and colleges across the country release students for winter break, it truly becomes crunch time for finishing college applications (remember, the postmark deadline is January 1 for Early Decision II and January 15 for Regular).  Next week, in an effort to help seniors complete the strongest application possible while minimizing stress, The Choice, the New York Times blog on admission and financial aid in higher education, is hosting a live Facebook chat with three expert college counselors from across the country. A different counselor will take questions and offer advice Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.  Find out the details here.

Early Decision letters will be mailed next Monday morning, and students may view their status online at midnight Monday night. Thanks again for being such fantastic applicants! We are excited to welcome the first members of what promises to be another absolutely spectacular class of Whitties!

Congratulations to all ED I Applicants!

Congratulations to all those who completed Early Decision applications this week! Take a step back and be proud of all your hard work. And don’t worry if your web adviser says you’re missing a certain credential you’ve already sent in. Due to the usual flood of application pieces it will take us the rest of the week to enter  everything into the system and for web adviser to update.

Now, as Whitties hit the the library prior to their week-long Thanksgiving break, the officer staff will begin to read applications. This is an exciting time for all staff as the payoff of the admissions team’s collective effort during the long fall travel season begins to show.

Decisions will be mailed the week of December 19 at the latest. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We’ll be kicking back with some pumpkin pie and what are sure to be wonderful college essays.

Songs to Wait By

We’re finishing the decisions and getting ready to stuff all of those envelopes so that you all hear your news by April 1.  Here are some songs to keep you going:

Letters are Out!

Letters are out!  As many of your know by now, we mailed letters on Friday, March 26, and Monday, March 29.  After months of intense reading by admission officers and weeks of review and discussion, we are all glad to be done with the selection process.  As many of my colleagues have shared, it’s always a privilege to be given a snapshot into the lives and minds of so many bright, interesting people.

The admission and financial aid spent a week getting ready for the mail to get out.  It was a week of printing letters, signing (all hand signed by Kevin Dyerly and me), then stuffing.  On Friday afternoon, a few of us helped deliver the boxes of mail to our on-campus mail center to be stamped and sealed.  A few folks then helped take them to the Walla Walla post office.  We know that so many students were anxiously waiting, so we wanted to get those letters out.
Regardless of the outcome of decisions, our staff appreciates the effort that students took to complete their application and to share with us their stories.  It truly was an honor to get to know so many interesting students.  Best wishes to all.

Songs to Wait By

OK, so we know it is tough to wait!  Really tough!  We know that you are sitting there, anxiously awaiting your admission decisions from colleges around the country.  In an effort to make that waiting go faster (and possibly reduce nail-biting), the folks in our office have compiled a list of songs for you to wait by.  Enjoy!

Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan

Don’t Rain on My Parade – Glee Cast

Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

In the End – Linkin’ Park

Waiting on the world to change – John Mayer

Hold On Tight – Electric Light Orchestra

Hold On – Kansas

I Will Be  Right Here Waiting For You – Richard Marx

Don’t Panic – Coldplay