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Friday, March 26, 2010

A note of thanks

It's become a bit of a tradition for me to write this post on the morning of decision day...

Some of you won't be visiting after today, so I feel that this is a good time to say thank you for being part of this blog. My first two years of doing this were terribly lonely. I firmly believe that without comments, a blog isn't all that successful. Blogs are supposed to initiate conversation and discussion. This blog is successful because you read it and you write comments.

Last year was a rough year for us. Working with you all has brought the joy back to a process many of us struggled to get through last year. I am so thankful.

Now, let's talk about what is going to happen today. At 5 PM, you'll scroll down to the bottom of your SIS status page and hit the "view decision" link. This time, instead of seeing a message about decisions not being released yet, you'll see an excerpt from the formal decision letter that is on the way via US Mail. I'll talk more about what comes next in a few hours.

We're going to make some of you very happy, but we're going to make many more of you sad or upset. One of the drawbacks to this job is that we have to say "no" more often than we get to say "yes". I console myself with the knowledge that you will all have many other attractive offers, some from our 14 public sisters in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Regardless of what your status page says, you are going to be just fine. You are going to attend a great school and you are going to grow tremendously while there. You're going to have "ah ha" moments like you've never had before. You're going to learn from amazing, inspirational professors. You're going to meet people with whom you will stay friends for the rest of your lives. You're going to pull all nighters studying. You're going to pull all nighters not studying. You are going to have highs and lows, you're going to have great successes and you're going to fail miserably at something, possibly for the first time in your life. While I obviously think UVa is a great, suppotive place for those things to happen, I believe that what will make those experiences valuable is what you learn from them, not necessarily your location when they occur.

Remember that your decision is not a statement about your value. With the number of applications we had, we were not able to admit all of the qualified students. Many of those who wind up on the waitlist and deny list are perfectly capable of doing the work at UVa. Our first-year class just isn't large enough to accommodate everyone.

Thank you for reading and sharing yourselves with me for the last few months. Best wishes to those who won't be back to the blog after this. To the rest, I hope you'll chime in now and then while you're a UVa student to give the next group of students a little advice and comfort as they take their turn on this roller coaster.

The big day is finally here! I'll be at the switch at 5 PM to turn those decisions on, thinking about you all. Good luck!

Give the students a hand, CavDog!
They gave us some great applications to read this year!