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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Finals are upon us

Traffic is increasing. Restaurants are a little more crowded. Students standing on the Rotunda steps, smiling for pictures is a regular sight. Huge, party tents are being assembled on any flat (or relatively flat) surface around Grounds. It's all a sign of what's just around the corner.

Commencement is on Saturday.

Obviously, this is a very happy time at UVa, but it's also the time of a transition that can be a little rough on admission officers. It's time for admission to hand off "our" students to the other offices of the University. A few months ago, if you had questions, you called us or you posted here on the blog. Now, you'll start calling orientation, housing, dining services, and after orientation, you adviser to get answers to your questions. I imagine that a good number of you who posted questions here in the past are already gone because there's no need to check ol' Dean J's blog anymore.

Here's my plea: keep in touch! My work is infinitely more rewarding when I'm interacting with students. When a current UVa student chimes in on the blog or when someone calls me Dean J (or my dog by his UVa name), I'm ecstatic. So, between now and next fall, when the juniors find the blog, please check in and say hello. It means a lot to me!

Here's another plea: think about the juniors behind you and think about some of the things you can do to share what you've learned about this process. Maybe you'll do something formal like join the Guide Service or visit your high school over breaks to talk to the younger students. Maybe you'll do something more casual like post on the blog/message boards or be that student that offers to answer questions for a visiting family that's wandering around Grounds. I'm sure your own conversations with admission officers pale in comparison with conversations you had with students during your college search. Please try to be a part of this process for the students behind you!