Growing up I used to go to this place named “Kelly’s” for lunch with my family. As you may imagine, at place named “Kelly’s” you couldn’t go wrong with the Reuben sandwich, well as long as you had a BIG appetite. This heaping ovular plate of corn beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, bubbling Swiss cheese and a couple well hidden slices of rye bread one needed to attack with a fork and steak knife was enough to intimidate even the biggest of appetites. Believe it or not, I see travel season as the California regional admission counselor for Whitman similarly. California is a large state! When I hit the road 53 days ago the flights, miles, visits and interviews were daunting, just like that steaming Irish culinary creation of my youth. My approach now is like my approach then, one bite at a time. Before I knew it, given some time and my fair share of iced teas the plate only had a few more bites, like my travel schedule today. The black travel bag and I only have 10 more days out on the road and I can’t help but feel satisfied by the accomplishment.
The afternoons after a visit to Kelly’s were understandably spent digesting, it really was gigantic sandwich! That is what I am looking forward to doing over the next few weeks with all the information I have taken in for the last two months. There are interviews to keep typing up, students to stay in contact with, profiles to organize, and lists to keep. It will be nice to be home, but to also move onto the next step, reading the applications. I have met so many interesting and promising students since September, it will be exciting to see how they present themselves. Applications will be coming soon too, the Early Decision I deadline at Whitman is November 15th. This is like sitting down to dinner in the evening after one of those Kelly’s Reubens, digestion beforehand is key. I will definitely be using early November to do just that, digest.
You all may be feeling like you are working your way through a Kelly’s Reuben yourself. There is the rigor and vigor of senior year, people like me keep showing up at your high school, you want to make a good impression on colleges, make good decisions on where to apply, and actually enjoy your senior year. The best advice I can offer is what has helped me, “one bite at a time.” Look at the applications bit by bit, don’t try to do all of them completely all at once. Otherwise you have a recipe for a hot mess that is not even worth trying to salvage as leftovers. You too will see a clearing in the ambitious plate you have before you. Don’t be stubborn like I was growing up, trying to take on a Kelly’s Reuben alone. Ask for help. Your friends and family are great resources for looking at essays and practicing interview questions. You also have some willing back-up in your college and admission counselors. We love this stuff and have an insatiable appetite. Slainte!