It’s that time of year again. School is back in session, the days are getting shorter, the trees are getting colorful, and the air is getting crisp. This can only mean one thing in the world of college admissions; fall travel season is in full swing!
The months of September and October often become a blur with each day blending and interlacing into the next. The most common questions are “where are you going next”, or “where will you be tomorrow?” My response always remains the same, “Let me check my visit calendar”.
Why can’t admissions counselors always remember what day it is, where they are, or where they are going next? Here is a sample day in the life of an admissions counselor (may or may not be one of my travel days this fall, perhaps you can figure it out?):
7:00am Alarm rings signaling the start of a new day. My hotel is 20 minutes away from my 1st visit- need to get ready quickly.
8:00am First high school visit of the morning, this visit will set the tone for the day. Crossing my fingers for a successful visit (successful determined by quality of conversation between myself and high school counselors/students).
9:05am Visit number two! Made it on time!
10:20am Third high school visit. Lucky to have found a good parking spot. I have a few minutes before I need to go in; let me check my e-mail to see if there is anything urgent that I need to respond to. E-mail checked, time to go inside.
12:00pm Fourth high school visit. Starting to get hungry, must grab something to eat after this school. Thirty Minutes later I leave feeling solid in the conversation that I had with a junior about our great books program and how St. John’s could fit into their future goals.
12:45pm Lunch time Panera stop. Food and free wifi- can’t beat that! Time to respond to student emails, work on my ongoing projects, and review application materials coming in. Taking my time.
2:00pm Final school visit for the day.
3:15pm Back to the hotel. Checking in at the office. Perhaps I should try and get a quick nap in?
6:00pm Night-time college fair for the county. There will be a lot of students, parents, and relatives anxiously walking around speaking to me and my colleagues. Speaking of colleagues, let’s see which of my friends will be here tonight. Dinner allows me to catch up with old road friends/travel buddies, as well as, meet some new ones.
8:30pm The college fair has just ended. Time to pack up my materials and head back to the hotel for the evening.
9:00pm Getting ready for bed, checking in with family and friends, looking at my visit calendar for tomorrow. Setting two alarms in case the first doesn’t wake me up.
Of course, this is just a sample day. Daily tasks vary between high school visits, college fairs, information sessions, off-campus interviews, meetings with alumni, or meetings with independent college counselors. No two days are alike. It is always a quest for minimal traffic, non-delayed flights, no car accidents, easy parking, good eateries, welcoming high schools, excited students, and an understanding campus community back home.
Interested where St. John’s admissions counselors are traveling throughout the year? You can follow our travels online through St. John’s on the road.
Associate Director of Admissions