Monday, August 28, 2017
It was challenging, therefore, when he told us in August that he would be missing the first day of class for the Fall 2017 term so he could travel with a group of friends to see solar eclipse in the "path of totality" in South Carolina. As parents, our first thought was to tell him no way. It's bad enough to miss class, much less miss the first day of class. But being good parents (at lease as good as we can be), we told him that it was his decision to make, and we would be okay with his choice. He let his professors know his plans, sent out texts and group invites planning out the trip, and then caravanned up to Clemson, SC with nine friends to experience the total eclipse.
Being parents, we tracked his progress up to SC on our iPhone, hoping that they would not get caught up in traffic and that the trip would go well. It was wonderful when he texted us after the eclipse saying "It was the most amazing thing ever!". This is high praise coming from a person where the majority of his responses to his parents are "Okay" and "Yup". We spent too much time worrying about him missing class and too little time thinking about the amazing adventure he would experience. As a future Aerospace Engineer, his passion is space, and how much more thrilling an event can you get than a total eclipse surrounded by friends. We focused too much on the "correct" thing to do and too little on the overall impact of the actual experience.
Sometimes parents of prospective college students focus so much on the process, they forget to look at the adventure. Yes, the college process is about admission, finding the right fit, and focusing on a degree/job. But it is also about the smaller, more meaningful events that occur within that span of four years. I personally don't believe that college will always be the proverbial "best years of your life", as students will encounter joys and challenges during there college time. But what I do believe is that some of the most amazing adventures in your life will occur during your college time. The biggest thing for students is to learn to look for these potential events, and for parents to foster this mindset.
So parents, help your kids with the day to day things, but don't forget to inspire them to seek out those amazing adventures that come along.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Most all of us love pizza, both because of the great taste but also because we generally know what to expect no matter who makes it. Most every pizza is going to have a crust, a layer of sauce and cheese. This is the base of almost all pizzas, and you can be sure that everyone from Papa Johns to your local hometown pizza joint starts with this. In the same way, there are a set of standard questions that most all admissions applications use as a base. Everyone asks for your name, your birth date, your high school, etc. Generally, these questions make up about 75-80% of the questions on the Coalition application.
On the other hand, the thing that makes each pizza unique are the toppings. Everybody has their own favorites, with mine being pepperoni and bacon (don't judge, bacon is great on everything). Yours could be banana peppers, olives and pineapple for all I know, as everyone has their own unique taste. Similarly, each college has unique questions that they need, many times due to their institutional needs or state requirements. Public colleges need data on your state residency, while private schools have less of a need for this information. Some colleges will not ask for essays, others will use the Coalition essay questions, while some (like UGA) will have their own short essay questions. Different universities also have different majors, different admission decision plans, etc. Each college, just like each pizza-loving person, has different tastes. These are the questions which will be displayed on each institutions college-specific pages in the Coalition application.
UGA will continue to use both our own application and the Coalition application, and we have no preference on which you should use. The only issue we will have is if you submit both applications, which will cause problems (like Ghostbusters "don't cross the streams" problems). In other words, submit one or the other application, but not both! I suggest you look at the other colleges using the Coalition application to see if there is any overlap, and then make a decision from there. The Coalition application will allow you to enter a little less data, but if you have already been interacting with our office (you sent test scores, visited campus, etc.), a large amount of this data will pre-populate when using the UGA based application. As stated in a previous blog post, all freshman applicants must write 2 short essays, with one being mandatory and the second giving you the option of selecting one out of four topics (with one coming from the Coalition list of essay topics).
For either application, we will not open up the Fall 2018 option until September 1. We generally wait until early September to give both you and your school counselors time to get back into the swing of things before the transcript/recommendation requests start. As well, all applicants will use the UGA admission status page to check on receipt of test scores, admission materials and admission decisions. If you do submit the Coalition application, you will then receive an email which will direct you on how to set up your admission status page.Prior to Sept. 1, you can get ready to apply by looking at my earlier post of Are You Ready so that when the application opens up, you will be prepared to start the process. FYI: UGA will not be using the Coalition Locker or Collaboration Space, as we will just be using the application.
So go out, eat some pizza and start planning out your application. I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!