Manners count! Lisa Heffernan, from favorite blog Grown and Flown, has ten great reminders for why manners matter, especially for millennials. While she doesn't specifically address the etiquette of the college application process, students would do well to mind her advice. Remember to thank the school counselor and teachers who wrote your letters of recommendation. Be on time for appointments with college representatives and admission office interviews. Be courteous and kind to EVERYONE who works in a college admission office. When you receive your decisions, respond to all of the schools on your list to let them know your plans. We could go on, but our favorite takeaway from Heffernan's post should suffice as a "golden rule" during the application process: Manners are something that people will remember about you, even if they don’t remember what they remember. Manners make an impression and while someone may not recall why they thought well of you (or badly, if you have ignored this) it may have been your courtesy. Don’t take a risk, remember what you have been taught. Read the whole post here.
Seniors, at this time of year, you will likely be doing interviews at the schools on your list -- either in the admission office or with alumni. Here's our best advice:
Take the time to reflect before you show up for the interview. For example, think about what's important to you, what you're reading, which of your activities means the most to you, what class you most enjoy, what event going on in the world right now has caught your attention and why?
Have a well thought-out answer for a question you are very likely to hear: "Why do you want to attend College X?" Your answer doesn't have to be long or involved but it should honestly reflect your feelings and in-depth knowledge about the school.
Dress appropriately. Admission officers say by far the most frequent interview faux pas are wardrobe malfunctions. Here's a guideline: dress like you're lunching with your grandparents.
Be on time. In fact, be a little early.
Be polite — to everyone: the receptionist, the other students and parents in the waiting room, the interviewer and your parents.
Remember: this is an opportunity to create a lasting first impression. One of the best ways to do that is to start out the interview strong. Make eye contact with and greet the interviewer, offer them a firm handshake, and state your full name clearly before you take your seat for the interview.
We're delighted to welcome Mary Dell Harrington to the blog today! Mary Dell cofounded the wonderful blog, Grown and Flown, with Lisa Endlich Heffernan, which covers all things kids aged 15 to 25. (And we're so lucky to have both of them as regular guests here!) Today, we get to ride along with Mary Dell and her 17-year-old daughter as they travel through one of the wonderful rites of passage in the college admission journey -- the college visit. We personally found these visits to be peak parenting experiences and it sounds like Mary Dell and her daughter did, as well. You can, too -- especially with her excellent advice.
Our youngest child will soon finalize her college list and begin the process of uploading her heart and soul into the Common Application. By winter break, she will be liberated from thinking about SATs and self-reflective essays, never to dwell on them again! The only part of the college hunt that I hope she might recall, perhaps even fondly, are the college trips we took together. It is the singular aspect of the process that parents truly share with their child and the only one with the potential to both inform and entertain.
Based on my experience with our daughter and her older brother, here are ways we tried to make looking at colleges more like mini-vacations and less like drudgery:
1. Act like tourists