Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Pressure of the Season

This is the last week of classes for the fall semester here at USD.  Finals are about to begin and that means the library is more crowded, the lines for coffee are longer, and students are feeling the pressure of completing assignments and studying for tests.  There’s a lot of pressure being a student this time of year, and while the end is in sight, these will be a challenging two weeks for our campus.

For high school students, there is a different kind of pressure building, and it has been bubbling up to the surface for weeks (at least).  College application deadlines are upon us – in particular, USD’s December 15th deadline is right around the corner – and students everywhere are writing essays, completing those supplemental questions, and making sure their test scores and transcripts are on their way.  There are additional deadlines after the new year, so this pressure doesn’t go away for a while.

If you have submitted your USD application already, thanks, and congratulations!  If you are one of the several thousand who will hit submit over this weekend, we thank you too, for including USD among your college choices.  We understand the pressure surrounding this process, and know all too well the wonderful options you have for continuing your education.  It is a process we take very seriously, and as we begin this journey together, leading us to May 1, I’ll be using this space to help you better understand what happens to your application after you hit that submit button.  I’ll take you inside our process and try and show the care and diligence our staff gives each and every application.  I’ll also provide helpful (hopefully) information about financial aid and scholarships, making sure you prepare appropriately for those deadlines.  I’ll also try and provide information that will help you better understand what the experience of being a student at USD is all about, so as you continue to consider your options, you’ll be able to know if we are a good fit for your goals and aspirations.  There will be stuff for parents, too, so please share this with them (they might ask you fewer questions).

This fall, the admissions staff and I travelled around the world – literally – to meet with students like you who are excited about making a difference in the world.  We visited schools from Massachusetts to New Mexico and from Washington to Florida – 23 states in all, plus the District of Columbia.  In addition, we visited 10 countries including Canada, Mexico, China, and Japan.  We met with thousands of students who are bright, who are involved in their schools and communities, and who are curious about the world around them.  Our students, regardless of where they come from, share the common trait of wanting to be change makers.  Over the next several weeks I’ll also help you better understand what we mean by that term.  Our students and faculty are doing amazing things to change the world and I hope you’ll enjoy hearing their stories.

If you haven’t hit the submit button yet, I hope you will so that you have a chance to be a part of this special community.  If not, I wish you the very best in following your passions and finding the place that will challenge and inspire you.  Either way, good luck, don’t let the pressure get to you, and don’t forget to enjoy this very special holiday season. 


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