Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Choices

Act 1, Scene 1 of Deciding on Dinner. Setting is the family kitchen. Father, Mother, Son and Daughter are standing around the kitchen island:

Dad:  "I have a great idea. Who wants to go out to eat tonight?"
Son (looking up from his phone): "Sorry, did you say something?"
Daughter (glaring at brother): "He said he wanted to go out to eat. That's great, but no Asian food. I had that yesterday."
Mother: "And no fast food. We don't need anymore fast food."
Son: "I need a cheeseburger. We can go wherever, as long as I can get a cheeseburger."
Dad: "Well it needs to be somewhere close. I want to watch the Red Sox's on TV tonight. How about (insert restaurant name here)."
Daughter: "I'm so tired of (insert restaurant name here). We always eat there. How about (insert 2nd restaurant name here)."
Mother: "No way. That place is too expensive, and the food isn't worth the cost."
Son: "I have a great idea. Let's go to (insert 2nd restaurant name here)."
Mother: "I said no fast food. What do not not get about 'no fast food' (using air quotes)."
Dad (looking exasperated): "How about I just pick up a pizza." 
Fade to black, dad walking out through kitchen door, shoulders slumped.

 
Every day, we all make choices. What to wear, where to eat, what comment/photo to like, what to do tonight, etc. We make choices all the time, based on our likes/dislikes, proximity, finances, friends, and a whole host of other factors. In the admissions process, potential applicants decide which colleges to visit, if they should apply, and if they are admitted to several colleges, which one to ultimately attend. If you are a recruited athlete, we sometimes get to see this decision played out on ESPN along with hats, animals and clothing used as props.

In the same vein, admissions offices make decisions every day. We decide what items and information gives us insight into an applicant, how much importance we should give to each item, how many people we can admit, and who we should admit, among other things. Just like every person is different and has different preferences, so do colleges. Georgia Tech, being a slightly smaller campus focused on technology and STEM academics located in downtown Atlanta is in many ways very different from UGA (which is good!). As such, UGA and GT will have different approaches to reviewing admission applications, and will make different decisions based on the makeup of both the institution and the applicant pool.

In this unique relationship between applicant (and the applicant's family) and college, both sides need to respect the choices that each one makes. Just like you would not want a restaurant owner to chase you down and demand to know why you did not choose his food over X restaurant or a rejected prom date to continue to hound you about not saying yes, the same holds true for both sides of the admission process. This morning, I received an email from a student who at the last minute said no to our admission offer. My response-I wish you well in your future college career at X. On the flip side, I remember the story of a former SEC football coach, who upon hearing that a recruit had decided upon another school, stated that the student would be "pumping gas for the rest of his life" like all the other former players at that college. That's just not right.

As such, make good decisions in your college search process, we will try our best to make good choices in our decisions, and I wish you well wherever you find the best fit. Good luck out there, and Go Dawgs!




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