As a community grower, I hold weekly web meetups for colleagues, to decompress over shared current experiences and to offer guidance to each other. Last week, issues percolated in and out of meet ups. I was grateful to have colleagues who lifted my COVID wet-blanket-ness. Here are a few thoughts:
Our students and parents are asking “What’s next? How do we inspire without answers?”
Usually, this time of year, we are knee deep in decision conversations and deciphering our juniors. Our messages of, “life goes on well beyond college...the myth of an epiphany on its way is a myth.” We lean in to share one of life’s great lessons, “The internal muse is elusive but usually waving her arms overhead to get our attention.”
Today is Sunday. Because of my day job, I meet students 9-9 on Sundays. In the before-times, I met students at my cute little office. Today, Zoom freezes, and I hope my image isn’t caught in some embarrassing pose, dissolving any street-cred my Pumas leveraged. I wonder aloud, “How can I sprinkle inspiration, when my crystal ball is on the fritz?”
“Stay the course,” a colleague commanded. Smartly, another added, “I’ve used my Links column to save the link of every virtual tour I could find. I’ve taught myself about campuses I haven’t visited in person.
“So what has changed? - not much”
Admissions is aware of the impact, in some cases loosening requirements, but nothing changed overall. Admissions has always asked, “In light of resources, what did the scholar do?” That’s never going to change, no matter the crisis.
My colleagues grinned across Zoom and the USA, calming me with shop talk perspectives. “None of our students are unique, none are the only ones who’s senior year is up-ended. AP exams are suspended for everyone. Look on the bright side, your Saturday morning SAT boot camp is cancelled.”
Margaret Rothe: Visionary Extraordinaire, Entrepreneur, and Founder of CounselMore 29 years of higher education experience, a Master of Higher Education Student Affairs, and owner of HigherGrounding, a college consulting firm; Margaret’s latest endeavor-CounselMore, a college search, list builder and professional management tool.