It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I’ll Admit It!  After about 10 seconds of this classic Andy Williams song, it’s obvious that he was singing about the holidays and not admission travel season.  However, at the start of this week’s staff meeting, Senior Associate Dean Tim Wolfe played this song to 1) pay homage to the late Andy Williams who had passed away earlier that day and 2) to get us all pumped about travel season (not that we weren’t already excited).

This is definitely a very distinct part of our work; one that doesn’t really mirror the others.  Unlike reading season when we hole up in our houses and read, read, read, and unlike spring and summer when it’s all about visitors to our campus, travel season is when we get out and interact daily with prospective students and families on their turf.  It’s an incredibly engaging time of meeting with those students who will hopefully be the future of W&M.

So what does travel season mean for you?  For juniors, it’s a great way to begin your college search.  Going to fairs or seeing those admission officers who visit your school helps give you a glimpse into what colleges are all about.  For seniors, it’s a great way to get your last-minute questions answered and to firm up the list of colleges to which you will apply.  So here are some tips on how you can make the most of our travel season.

  1. Attend college events in your area!
    – Yeah, it’s tempting to spend your Sunday afternoon watching football instead of going to a college fair, but this is a free opportunity for you to learn more about a huge number of institutions without the hassle of traveling to an actual campus.
  2. Ask good questions.
    – Yes knowing the average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs are important, but you can easily find those answers online or in whatever printed materials are available.  Ask more insightful questions that will help you determine whether or not this school might be a good fit for you.
  3. Get your friends involved.
    – You’re all going through this process together and I bet you’re finding that misery loves company.  That’s great.  But friends can also open your eyes to schools you hadn’t previously considered.
  4. Don’t be afraid to explore the unknown.
    – Just because you don’t know much about a certain school doesn’t mean you should automatically disqualify it.  Whether at a fair or a visit from an admission rep, feel free to learn more about those schools you don’t know as much about.
  5. Don’t let your parents do all the talking, but let them do some.
    – You probably have rolled your eyes at your parents on tours or in information sessions because of all the questions they ask, but it’s your job to do the same.  Admission officers are friendly people (and we were once prospective students too, so we understand what you’re feeling), and we love to talk to prospective students so engage us in conversation.

So get pumped.  We definitely are.  And if you want to pay homage to Andy Williams, be of good cheer with us.  We’ll see you on the road.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission

Categories: Admission, Faculty & Staff Blogs
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