Tag Archives: Admission

Winter is Coming

A curious thing happened yesterday, and it happened again today. On Tuesday, November 19, Walla Walla had a high temperature of 57. It was balmy and rainy, and was almost too warm for the heavier jackets many of us had finally pulled out of the closet after their long rests, donning them in anticipation of the colder months and gradual decline in temperature. I know that I at least was forced to take my jacket off on my morning walk to work, and again as I walked home in the evening.

Then the curious thing happened. The day ended, night set up over a warm Walla Walla, and we all sequestered ourselves in our homes, our apartments, our residence halls and houses. We forgot about the outside, at least for the few hours we were indoors, enjoying the wonders of climate controlled housing. We went to sleep, not thinking too hard about winter or fall or the weather at all. Then, Wednesday, November 20th, Winter, which had been a long time in coming, finally decided to show up. In the space of a day, we went from a high of 57 to a high of 37. Today, Thursday the 21st, we have a high of 34 and a low of 25. Tomorrow, Friday the 22nd, we have a low of 19.

Winter is officially here.

The onset of winter means a lot of different things for a lot of different people. For our students from Southern California, where winter temperatures often range in the sixties, this can be a confusing and rather chilly time of year. For students from the east coast and several other midwest states, it’s just a drop in temperature not really worth noticing (side story: I once told a student I was interviewing that it got cold in the winter. When she asked how cold and I told her it would set up around the 30’s and stay there, she laughed at me. She was from northern Minnesota). For all of our students, it means both Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break are just around the corner, respites from the long, hard battle of the Fall Semester.

In the world of admission, winter is exciting on both sides of the desk. For high school students, it means applications are just around the corner (I will admit this might be more nerve-wracking than exciting, but bear with me), with their college admission decisions not far behind. Through the end of November and all of December, the scattered flurries of applications pick up in intensity, escalating into a full on blizzard of submissions to colleges. Essays are edited, letters of recommendation are written, and applications are double, triple, maybe even quadruple checked, all before finally hitting that submit button, or before sealing the envelope, slapping on the postage, and throwing it all in the mailbox before second thoughts can form, lest the envelope be opened and the application worked on even more. It’s a hectic time, a very busy time, and depending on where you are, probably a very cold time.

For us here in the Whitman College Office of Admission, winter means similar things, but it also carries other connotations. To start, it means that the long travel season has come to a close (I apologize for the lack of updates caused by my month on the road). All of us, minus our regional representatives, have found our way back to the office, to home base, where we are now busy both catching up on work and sleep put aside during the month of October, and settling back into our daily routines. It also means, for us, that reading season is just over the horizon. The first of our two Early Decision deadlines just passed, and we’re now sorting through all of the shiny new applications, getting ready to tackle them. In another couple of months, once January hits, we’ll be hunkering down in our offices, bundled up against the cold outside with more applications than you can shake a stick at for company. It’s a hard process, but in many ways it’s also one of the most exciting parts of the job, the next step in the admission cycle as we work towards building the next incoming class, in this instance the class of 2018.

So pull out your winter jackets if you haven’t already, wrap up warm with your favorite scarfs and blankets, and get ready for the winter months. They’ll be cold, of that there’s little doubt, but I can absolutely guarantee they’ll be exciting.

Until next time.

5 Things to Look Forward to in the Coming Months (From the Whitman College Office of Admission)

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Hello all, and welcome once again to the Whitman Admission Blog! It’s been a crazy hectic couple of weeks here in the office, and not just because of the gradual increase in students visiting campus. Fall, as I’ve talked about before, is in full swing at this point, and that means some exciting things happening (apart from just the crazy weather we’ve been having). With that in mind, I wanted to take some time share some of the things I’m most excited about, and that you might find fun and interesting as well. Below is a list of 5 things you can look forward to coming from the Whitman College Office of Admission, and Whitman College in general, in the coming days, weeks, and months!

5) Overnight Visits!

If you’re a prospective college student, chances are you’ve already been exposed to the idea of overnight visits, and might already know what they entail. For those of you who don’t, however, an overnight visit is something we offer to seniors who want to get a bit more of a taste of campus life, and really dig into the culture of the college by staying with a student host for night. It’s an incredibly cool process, is often the deciding factor for students making their college decisions, and, now that the school year is in full swing, we are able to offer them after the long summer break! Want to sign up for an overnight? Simply go to the Schedule a Visit section of our website and follow the steps outlined there!

4) Lunch Hosting!

Much like with Overnight Visits, which are put on hold over the summer while our students are away, Lunch With Current Students gives you the opportunity to meet and talk with current Whitman students in order to get a feel for Whitman’s campus community. Going to be on campus for a tour or an interview? Sign up to talk with current Whitties (and get a taste of our excellent dining hall food) while you’re at it!

3) Fall Visitors’ Day!

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Okay, so this one is still a ways off (November 12th to be precise), but it’s still really exciting to think about. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to visit campus yet, or if you’ve already been but want to come join in on the festivities, Fall Visitor’s Day is an excellent opportunity to tour the campus, meet with staff and faculty, and even sit in on panels about academics, sports, and other programs Whitman has to offer. Want to know more? Come check out our Fall Visitor’s Day webpage, and check out the full list of activities!

2) Intern Blogs!

If you actively follow this blog, or if you just happen to pop in and check for updates from time to time, you may have noticed something: updates often come sporadically (although I have been trying to create a more regular schedule), what with how busy we Admission Officers often are throughout the year. In order to help alleviate the problem of sometimes sparse content, we have enlisted the help of our Senior Admission Interns, who will be posting on a weekly basis from here on out. This week marks the first week our new interns will be posting, and I myself am super excited to announce that their blogs will soon be up and running! Image

(Above is a photo I snagged of two of our interns hard at work on their first posts). Be on the lookout for those blogs as they come out! They’ll be posting a lot of good content, which is nice, since Whitman’s Admission Officers (myself included) will soon be…1) On the Road!

This is in many ways the biggest part of the Fall for us as Admission Officers. I talked a bit about this a while back, but at that point in time it was largely conceptual – we were still in the planning phases, the early steps, the thought of travel only just beginning to surface from the long summer months of sleep. Now, however, travel season is upon us. If they haven’t hit your town, high school, or area already, Whitman College Admission Officers will soon be making visits, holding interviews, and attending college fairs, all right in your back yard! To find out who will be in your area, and where we will be visiting, check out our Whitman on the Road page for more information!

That’s all for today. Look out for both our Senior Admission Intern blogs, as well as another post later this week as a followup to a personal favorite series of posts from last year! Until then, may Fall be ever in your favor.

The Changing of the Seasons

Seasons come, seasons go. They shift, they fade. Sometimes they transition slowly, cold winter melting into warm spring with the pace of thawing ice. Spring slowly warms to the kiss of the sun, blooming into the heat of summer. Generally speaking, we get used to these patterns and the transitions they bring, the gradual shifts from one phase of life to the next. We fall into our routines and expectations with an ease so light we never even notice.

Of course, these transitions and fades aren’t always the rule, and every now and then something happens to remind us of this, an event, a happening, which shakes us out of our dreary routines with sudden strength.

This past week in Walla Walla has been one such happening, with the Summer being suddenly and unexpectedly buffeted by an onslaught of sudden Fall. In a way it’s almost poetic – just as the summer months for the students come to a close, drawing a sharp line in the sand between leisure and school work, so too did the weather decide to shift without warning into full on Fall Mode.

The following two images, both of which I have taken from Cliff Mass’s weather blog (seriously go check him out – even if you’re not a huge weather fan, he’s super entertaining), and both of which were originally taken by Kevin Pogue of Whitman’s Geology Department, say it all.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you autumn storms in Walla Walla.

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Fall has definitely struck, in more ways than one. Cool air, tempestuous skies, and leaves just beginning to turn in the trees overhead. In the Admission Office the doors have been standing open all day to let in the wonderful cool breeze, while we had our own touch of the incredible weather just outside.

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The weather, however, isn’t the only way that Fall has begun to set in. On the academic side of things, this week marked the first week of classes for students! For the first time since the end of Spring, lectures were had, discussions were begun, reading was delved into, and students began to think about the long haul of the oncoming school year. It will be many months of wondrous motion, action, study, and fun before things begin to settle down once more. Change is in the air, and whether that change is moving slowly or swiftly, the year is really beginning to move.

Check in next week to get another taste of the Fall (even if the weather warms back up), and get a glance of how the transitions from Summer to Fall begin to affect us all. Until then, may your week be filled with the best sorts of change!

Oh, and as a treat: the first leaves I’ve noticed changing around campus!

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Coming Soon, to a High School/College Fair Near You

While the last couple entries on this blog have focused a bit more on the downtime in the Admission cycle, those few quiet months of repose, rest, and preparation for the new year, this post is going to focus on something different. This post is going to focus, quite specifically, on gearing up for the start of the new school year.

While it’s true that the office is still fairly quiet – there are of course plenty of visitors coming through on a daily basis, experiencing the campus, taking tours, sitting in on information sessions, and engaging in interviews with our admission staff – the real weight of the admission season is starting to poke its head up over the horizon. The excitement and activity of the new year is starting to dawn, and with it comes a stirring of new activity, both on the student end of things and on our side of the desk as well. While students start realizing their summer is slowly coming to a close (if you’re a student and reading this, keep making the most of it while it lasts!), Admission Officers are beginning to look forward to one of the busiest, and ostensibly most exciting parts of our year.

Travel Season!

From the middle of September to about the middle of November, Admission Officers both in our office and all over the country are in constant motion, planning trips to conferences, to college fairs, to high schools, getting in contact with high school counselors, with eager and excited students, flying all across the country, and in some instances across the globe.  The life of an Admission Officer is an exciting one, and not just because we get to work with bright and interesting students. We get to see all parts of the country, have the opportunity to experience a range of cultures, and ultimately, get to meet people from all sorts of walks of life, all while representing our respective colleges, and more importantly, the value of higher education.

So what does this mean on the student end of things? Put simply, it means that fairly shortly, there’s a pretty good chance an Admission Officer will be traveling to an area near you, giving you the opportunity to make contact with a college representative. This could be in the form of a high school visit, it could be in the form of touching base with an Officer at a college fair, or it could be at one of the many off campus interviews we offer to students in our respective areas. Most importantly of all, this means that you get to have your questions and your concerns answered, and that you have the opportunity to get a taste for a college without ever stepping foot on the campus. For many students this is their first contact with a college. For others, it’s a continuing conversation, another step on the road to going to college.

For us, the Admission Officers of the world, it’s an opportunity to get in touch with hundreds of new students, and hopefully to influence their lives for the better.

So, as September starts shaking the sleep off from its annual eleven month nap, and as you begin brushing the cobwebs off of your school supplies, pulling them out from that dark and dusty corner they’ve been relegated to since the start of the summer, be on the lookout for a college representative near you! Remember to check out the admission section of our website at whitman.edu for updates on who will be in your area visiting high schools and conducting college interviews. And in the meantime, just know that we’re looking forward to seeing you all soon.