The Joy of Application Reading

Drew “. . . he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

In my first blog posting of the year (I’m sure you all have it committed to memory), I claimed that if you spent too much time with your nose in the college guide books, the college search would seem like an overwhelming 4th grade project on birds.

Well, now the shoe is on the other foot — it is our turn.  As I sit here on Sunday afternoon watching the perfect Patriots on television, I am distracted (marginally) by the stack of applications on my coffee table.  When considered as a whole, reading these applications can be overwhelming.  But the only thing for us to do is to simply tackle these applications one at a time, bird by bird.


And when you take that approach, reading applications can be (gasp!) fun.  I’ve read some wonderful essays so far this year about the determination of female preemies, a lesson learned from a French girl at summer camp or even something as simple as a swim in the ocean.

So I guess what I want to say is thank you.

Thank you for telling us about your Eagle Scout project.
Thank you for having the guts to take Calculus.
Thank you for fessing up to that mistake.
Thank you for sending us a Christmas card.
Thank you for sending that CD of you playing the violin (Bach was my favorite).

Thank you for applying.

Andrew N Carter
Associate Director of Admissions
College of the Holy Cross

Deadline Day

Pmaloney January 15th is a day that is circled on many calendars across the country for a variety of reasons.  Did you know that on January 15, 1559, Queen Elizabeth I was crowned?  In 1622, French writer Molière was born?  In 1922, Irish revolutionary Michael Collins became the Irish Free States’ first premier?  In 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born?  And in 1967, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I.?  Well, it’s true.  And in addition to those events, January 15th is important at Holy Cross because it is the deadline for regular decision applications.

Where did the time go you ask?  Well, it has flown by in a blur of high school visits, open houses, college fairs, interviews, phone calls and emails for counselors here at HC.  But today – January 16th is the start of full scale reading for us counselors.  Oh, we’ve been chipping away at early applications for a few months, but now we know what we’re up against.  The last applications are being downloaded and all the rest of the mail is coming in.  Counselors will be able to go find a quiet area to read applications for hours at a time.  Our very own Suzanne likes to read at her desk…and by the looks of the pile on her desk this morning, she’ll be there a while.


I know what you’re thinking – it sounds like fun!  Well, like any good novel, it has it ups and downs, makes you laugh or frustrates you, but overall it’s enjoyable to find out about all of you.  As you might have already guessed, I’m putting off reading in order to write this entry, but if I don’t start, I’ll never finish.  So, with all this work to be done, and a full night’s rest behind me, I’m ready to go.  You might not be hearing from us very frequently over the several weeks, but don’t forget to check back with us because you never know what we’re going to read about next.

Patrick Maloney ’02
Assistant Director of Admissions

A New Year and A New Reading Season

Tran Many of you are probably breathing sighs of relief right now as you finalize and finally submit your applications for college.  For us in the office, we’re just getting warmed up as the applications fly into our reading bins.  At this point in the year, we start to buckle down at home and in the office shedding our heels and ties so if you swing by, don’t be surprised to see us romping about in jeans and sneakers.  And if we’re at home, most of us are probably decked out in our favorite bathrobes and slippers.  Because we read using a pencil, many of us, if not all, have finally chosen our season’s pencils that promise never ending writing comfort for the next two months but ultimately fall a bit short because the nature of this task that lies ahead dictates inevitable writing calluses at some point.  But no matter how tedious and sometimes unkind the task is, I have to admit that it’s one of my favorite parts of the job and I speculate that many of my colleagues would agree. I learn about different facets of young peoples’ lives that are funny, entertaining, whimsical, inspiring and sometimes sad.    I get to meet interesting and unique individuals from all over the country and even from various parts of the world, all without ever leaving my chair.

Tran Kim-Senior
Assistant Director of Admissions
Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment

No More Interviews!

Pmaloney The phone has been busy in the Admissions Office this past week with lots of calls about interviews.  As I am sure you know, Holy Cross offers on-campus interviews to prospective students from May through the end of December.  Unfortunately, many students lose track of time during this period or become so involved in their academics, extra curricular activities, and other college application tasks, that it becomes hard to get to campus for this interview.  As a result, many of these phone calls result in the student being disappointed because the deadline has passed they will be unable to interview.  If you happen to be one of those students, please keep in mind that even though interviews at Holy Cross are strongly recommended, they are not required.  If you were unable, for one reason or another, to have an interview, this will in no way affect your candidacy for admission to the College.

One way to further support your candidacy without an interview, would be to submit any additional information that you feel would assist the Admissions Committee in the evaluation of your application.  Now, I don’t mean you should go ask yet another teacher for a recommendation, but think about what you would have talked about if you had had that interview – academics for sure, but also things you do outside of school.  So, think about sending additional information that helps us learn a little bit more about your character.  After all, it can’t hurt, right?

Patrick Maloney ’02
Assistant Director of Admissions

Taking the Stress out of the College Application Process

Amanda Phew!

Let me tell you how stressed I was when I applied to college.  I had never spent so much time writing, editing, rewriting, having others read, and writing some more.  Those essays nearly caused me to have a breakdown.  I’m sure none of this is news to you.  You’ve all been experiencing the same thing over the last few weeks.  But the best part is that it’s over!  You’re done!

But wait!  What if I don’t get in?  What if I didn’t say everything I should have?  What if the waiting makes me have an even bigger breakdown?!  Take a deep breath.  Not a big deal.  Take Patrick’s advice and calmly look over the application.  If there’s anything you left out then send it along.  If you’ve said everything you wanted to then you need to remember that you’ve done your best and it’s out of your hands.  Relax, stop the stressing.  Push those applications far from your mind and just enjoy your last semester of high school.  Do your homework, hang out with your friends, forget that college exists.  Really, it will help you out.  Trust the girl who panicked endlessly.  In April when the letters start arriving it will be a nice surprise and not a burden that’s been looming over you.  Then you’ll have a fun decision to make!

And then, in another few years, the process will begin over again for graduate school 🙂

Amanda Juriansz
Assistant Director of Community Outreach