There is a reason few schools in the country create the next freshman class the way we do. To go through every single application – that’s right, every single application – as a group and allow a democratic vote to decide each student’s fate takes a lot. It’s a lot of time, it’s a lot of pressure, and it’s a lot of energy.
But there’s something strangely exhilarating (if exhausting) about the prospect of creating our Class of 2016. Our brains are constantly working as we learn interesting tidbits about our 7200 or so applicants. Our eyes slowly despise us more and more as the glow of two large projector screens serve as our information tablets. We scan the important evaluations of our colleagues as the room is filled with comments of quick analysis and personal stories of meeting or interviewing you (as well as the faint smell of various snacks). The hardest part, however, is finding ways to make sure every applicant, whether it’s the first or the last of the day, is evaluated with equal freshness and enthusiasm.
For me, that means reminding myself that it wasn’t all that long ago I was in your shoes.
I can still recall sitting in Physics class, paying little attention to the importance of free fall and instead wondering when and how colleges decide whether I’m worth admitting to their school. Many family members told me there was no rhyme or reason to the college admission process, that the mood of an admissions officer could sway my potential spot at a university.
In the Holy Cross Committee room, however, that’s not the case, because I see myself up there. The instant fatigue and apathy begin to creep in, I sit up straight (maybe even stand up and pour myself another cup of coffee) and recall how much influence we hold over a significant number of high school seniors. For all the hard work you put in during your nearly four years in high school, I can reciprocate that, one application at a time.
Few schools craft a class the way we do, but even after a few weeks of our arduous process, I wouldn’t want to decide your fate any other way.