Enjoy & Embrace the Admission Process and its Opportunities
It’s fall, and admission staffs from schools all over the US and Canada are mobilizing their forces to look at the next wave of new students for their schools. Whether it’s at a school fair, a reception, or a chance meeting at a school visit, professionals in the admission industry are excited to meet potential families that may join their rolls next September. The excitement is palpable, but it begs the question from prospective families, “What should I be doing as I research my next school?” Having had many admission cycles behind me, and having seen this process from varying perspectives, I think some reflection for any student considering independent education is key to a successful placement. Let’s examine some of the positives of this process…
First, it feels great to be wanted. Plainly put, being recruited is a GREAT feeling. Whether you are an athlete, an artiste’, or a whiz with figures, there is a school that needs the skills that you have to offer. What’s wrong with letting schools know things that you do well, and things that you are interested in learning. In my experience as a college soccer coach, I was always looking for players who were going to make my teams better. As I look for students now, I want to know how you are going to make my campus a more vibrant and energetic place. You should, without a doubt, be thinking about marketing yourself to the schools you are interested in.
Second, amazing worlds are going to open to you, if you are open to them. Never been in a single-gender school? Never had known someone from Azerbaijan? Never tried photography? Experiences like these are out there and waiting for you, if you take the time to open your eyes and look at them. I never knew that I had a talent for acting until I had the chance to pursue it (and I can do a mean Sean Connery impersonation), so you need to look for schools that are going to help you develop and GROW as a person, not stay the same throughout your teenage years.
Finally, this process can just plain be fun. Travel to schools. Meet students and faculty on campus. Eat the food. ENJOY what the experience can bring you. If nothing else, you should relish an exciting time in your life and the gift that education truly is. Every experience you have builds your education, and there is nothing better than a student who is well-rounded, not afraid to try new things, and who enjoys getting dirt under their nails every now and again. The Greek philosopher Heraclitis postulated that you could never step in the same river twice, for once you stepped in it, it was forever changed. I would encourage any prospective student to step in as many rivers as they can…the river will change, and so will you!
About Jesse Roberts:
Jesse Roberts is the Director of Admission and Financial Aid at West Nottingham Academy, the Oldest Boarding School in America. Jesse came to the Academy in 2007, following his time as the Special Assistant to the President of the Cardinal Gibbons School in Baltimore. A former professional soccer player, Jesse coached college soccer for 10 years, including 7 at the NCAA Division I level, helping two separate teams to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Recruiting has been part of Jesse’s job description for 15 years, and the enjoyment of meeting new families never dulls in lustre.
Photo credit: Ben McLeod