For new readers...

Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

There's a decade of posts here, so the search box can help find an answer to common questions. Pick a name, real or otherwise, if posting a comment.
Please link to the specific post if referencing what is written here elsewhere.

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Let's Talk about Perfection

I wrote this a few years ago, but I think this is a good time to share it again.

There was a point yesterday afternoon when my fingers hovered over the keyboard and I found myself thinking "I don't know this student at all." I had just finished reading an application and was trying to write an enthusiastic opening to my notes, but nothing was coming. It didn't really make sense. The curriculum was excellent, the grades were great, the test scores were solid, the counselor's recommendation was positive, the essays were meticulously edited, and the student was involved in activities that were important to them, as most students are. Many people would say the application was flawless.

I had the perfect application in front of me, but I had trouble getting excited about it. It was an application that epitomized an idea I had a few years ago:





Most of us feel pressure to be perfect.

Does the student who achieves perfection (whatever that is) get accepted to lots of schools? Yes. But if admission officers only admitted the perfect students, we probably wouldn't fill our classes. Yes, you need a fantastic profile to be admitted, but there are lots of imperfect students getting offers from great schools.

My advice: Try to be the most perfect version of you. Work to your greatest potential. Strive for excellence, but make sure you're also doing things that are fulfilling and meaningful to you.

Perfection is impressive, but so is personality

Did that perfect applicant get an offer from UVa? Yes. I'm sure that applicant got offers from many schools. So did lots of other students.