The last few weeks have certainly been a blur as all of us in the Admissions Office have crisscrossed the country visiting high schools, meeting with guidance counselors and chatting with perspective students. Regardless of what city we’re in, one thing stays consistent for all of us – they’re just aren’t enough hours in the day to get all of the work done. In that way, we have something in common with all those high school seniors that we are meeting with on the road – many of them seem overwhelmed by the combination of the commitments in the classroom and the pressure of the application process. There simply isn’t enough time to get it all done and this carries over into their college visits. The family pours out of the car, runs to catch the tour, the information session and then sprints back to the car to make it home to write essays and finish homework.
I’m here today to call upon everyone just to slow down.
Seriously – slow down.
Holy Cross alum and former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins said the following about education:
Although teaching and learning themselves have been motorized by the hyper-pace of information, it is good to remember that the true tempo of education has always involved a deceleration. . . . a shift from the urgencies and demands of the world to the more leisurely pace of discussion, the cadence of study and reflection, the seeming stop-time of engrossed thought.
So, when visiting colleges this fall, instead of sprinting from car to tour to info session to car, you should encourage your family to simply slow down. Schedule your visits so there’s enough time to linger, to truly experience a college. The most valuable insight from a college visit often comes when you’re not looking for it – a door held for you when you least expect it; the friendly smile from a professor who passes you on the sidewalk; or an inquisitive student’s question in the classroom as you walk by. You’ll only notice these if your pace is leisurely and you just might experience the best part of education – the deliciousness of deceleration.
Andrew N Carter
Associate Director of Admissions