Thursday, November 8, 2012

An open letter to College Admissions

Dear College Admissions People,

Very soon (fingers crossed that it will be very soon), you will be receiving from my eldest son an application for admittance to your respective college or university. As I have assisted him in filling out the endless pages on the Common App, made sure that all pertinent details were correct, and nagged encouraged him to persist in writing his essays, I have become aware that in spite of the very comprehensive nature of your application process I cannot escape the feeling that you will not be getting a complete picture of my son.

The measures of success required on the college application are certainly valid and necessary to your assessment of his potential. I'm not quibbling with your methods, just concerned that you might overlook an excellent future college student if you look to those measures and those measures only. I can hope that his essay and teacher recommendation might help fill in the colors and nuances of the portrait that is Jack, but perhaps I can offer some helpful visuals as well. I'm sure you can agree that undoubtedly no one knows this young man better than his own mother.

1. Jack is, and has always been, 100% his own person.

I have yet to meet a child who I worried less that he would succumb to the pressure to be or do anything that he didn't want to be or do. Jack has been known to turn down invitations to parties, tickets to concerts, and a host of other requests that might appear to be socially advantageous simply because he didn't care to go. His sense of self is solid and at times maddeningly intractable, but always, admirably, true to his core.

2. Jack is a confident, unflappable public speaker. He has no fear of getting up in front of a group of 10 or a group of 500, and is known in his senior Speech class as the King of Impromptu speeches. This is particularly useful when you are the sort of kid who occasionally forgets to prepare/practice his speech in advance. (maybe I should leave that part out?)

3. Jack chooses his friends well. His friends run the gamut from being the academic stars of the school, to the athletic heroes, to the seemingly ordinary guys who are just fun to be around. But one thing they have in common is that they accept one another completely, laugh easily, and are loyal to the end.

4. Jack is a good sport. His strong sense of self prevents him from being embarrassed easily which means he's generally willing to take one for the team, so to speak. This includes willingly sitting on Santa's lap at the age of 17.

5. Jack is a terrific older brother. 'Nuff said.

6. And, finally, Jack is uniquely suited to dorm life because of his extensive experience with making the most out of small spaces. Jack has been exceptionally creative within the boundaries of his own relatively small bedroom and I know he could work his similar brand of magic within the confines of dormitory living.

First, there was the unique placement of his desk in relation to his closet. At first glance this might look like a hindrance to hanging up one's clothes, but Jack has addressed that issue as well.  He has perfected a clockwork-like system that involves living out of one hamper of clean clothes, while filling a separate hamper with the dirty clothes until it is time to do laundry again. Repeat cycle. It works seamlessly and eliminates the need to hang up one's clothes at all. The wrinkled look is in, by the way.

And if the desk-closet arrangement wasn't enough to convince you of Jack's powers of imagination and creativity...

...I give you MegaBed.

Yes, what you see there are two twin beds pushed up together vertically with two twin mattresses arranged horizontally across them. I will leave it up to you to imagine which way Jack chooses to sleep most nights but let me just say that I am setting aside money for a chiropractor, just in case.

Nevertheless, surely you can see that Jack is not bound by the limits of societal expectations, the principles of Feng Shui, or good taste. He is a young man destined to push the boundaries and to work outside of the box, all while charming the world with his easy going nature and engaging smile. What college campus wouldn't benefit from the talents and disposition of this young man?

Seriously, he's a good kid.

Could you all just get together and agree that at least one of you will send him a big "YES"?

You won't be sorry.


Jack's Mom


  1. Replies
    1. Betsy- If MegaBed can't close the deal, I don't know what will...

  2. Just a recommendation - if there is a school that he is really interested in call the admissions office and request an interview. Even if the school isn't nearby, universities have alumni all over the country who they can get to interview him and get a more complete picture of him. They are (usually) informal and just provide some time to really learn more about an applicant. I do these all the time for my undergrad university and the admissions people really do look at the notes I give them after the interview.