For those of you not familiar with the admission field, it is currently that time of year where most admission counselors/college reps are what we like to call “on the road”. On the road in high schools doing classroom presentations, visiting different career centers/ guidance offices, and making our way through the never ending circuit of night time college fairs, all to meet with students.
It is among this time of year when I am always reminded how much I LOVE this age group, because I get to see them in mass quantities several times a week. They inspire me with their lofty goals, they make me laugh with their silly demeanor and they make me feel like I am somehow making a small but powerful imprint on their lives.
Do I get tired of students asking the same questions over and over again? Sure. Do I sometimes want to roll my eyes at the way some of them dress or act? Of course. Do I want to sigh a little bit when a student says they want to be a doctor but they”are not very good with science or blood”. Yes. But I don’t.
Why? Because I was there. I was confused. The world was really big and the options were overwhelming when I was 17. I was just trying to figure out my way, just like they are. And sometimes that comes with not knowing what to say to a college rep or asking a totally off the wall question just to impress your friends and be funny. I didn’t know what questions to ask either. Sure, I cared about college and my future but I also cared a lot about my friends, that was my world at the time. I totally thought I looked cute with my over-sized sweatpants and ratty hair. I hardly looked people in the eye when I spoke to them… and not because I was trying to be disrespectful. But because I was so incredibly insecure about the big zit breakout that was my face and mouth full of metal I had. So, no these kids don’t offend me in the slightest. We ARE the same, they will look back and laugh at themselves too. You see we have this terrible habit of saying things like “kids these days are just different, I don’t get it” or “I wasn’t like that”. I call bull.
“Every generation has always rebelled against the generation it has followed. ”
My last post I talked about not losing our young selves who were wide eyed dreamers, ready to take on the world. It is easy to become jaded. To become tired. It is easy to stomp on the younger generation because YOU know the “reality” and they don’t, right? WRONG.
I cannot tell you how many times I will have some colleagues from other schools whom I am next to at fair say things like:
“OMG did you see those pants? Could they be any tighter?? “
“That girl just asked me if we had a Drama program, doesn’t she know it’s called THEATRE, so annoying.”
“Like that kid is ever going to get through Medical school with the way he just talked to me, good luck!”
“Did she REALLY just ask me that??”
Oh and this one is my favorite…
“I wish kids would get off their phone and talk to me like real people” (as the admission counselor/college rep is staring at his or her phone and texting the entire fair)
Do we have to laugh and have some humor out of some of the questions and comments that come our way? Yes of course! If we didn’t make it fun, we would go insane! But there IS a line. There is a good natured laugh and then there are people who I see get truly OFFENDED by what a 16-18 year old says to them. This is what I want to say to those people…
If you don’t find high school students intriguing and hilarious to be around and the only thing you can do is bash them and make fun of them… YOU ARE IN THE WRONG JOB. Do me a solid and stop giving us admission folk who love these kids and want to help them find their way, a bad name.
I get it. YOU are NOT the same as these kids, they are just soooo different. You NEVER asked “stupid” questions. Never wore questionable clothing. Never was confused about your career path. Never was intimidated by a college rep or adult. Must have been nice to just pop out of the womb mature and established. Please, tell us your secrets.
These kids need our honesty, our information, our guidance and our COMPASSION. Not our attitude.
Almost there admission friends, keep trucking along!