The following was published in our annual newsletter to guidance counselors, which mailed in September 2012.
By the time August rolled around, I was thinking this wasn’t the best of summers. When the economy wasn’t sluggish, the flowers and lawns struggled to flourish. CNN brought us sad and devastating news, and the political wrangling seemed endless. And I won’t even mention my disappointing Red Sox.
Enter the 2012 Summer Olympics, a common ground for competition and celebration — just the elixir and rallying cry the world (or at least yours truly) needed. I loved the drama and stories of inspiration. I loved hearing about the drive, the determination, the sacrifices and the dreams of each athlete. I love that every little boy believes that he can be the next Michael Phelps.
My athletic inspiration took me in the direction of golf, a game I’ve never been able to master. My husband, a former high school golf coach, is as patient with me as he is skilled in the sport. In one of our recent outings, he told me where to direct my putt so that it would turn at just the right moment and enter the hole. I hit it
exactly where he said, and the ball whirled past the cup. I was indignant. His response: “You got the line right. Now you need to work on pace.” Sigh.
But all is not lost. I realized that understanding the balance between “line and pace” is a lesson that applies to so much more, including the college admission process. For me, it is a reminder that attracting more applicants is less important than attracting the right applicants. For you, it may mean helping parents see that, as useful as college rankings might be in assessing certain measures for schools, they are ineffective in helping assess the emotional fit and academic environment that is best for their sons and daughters. For students, it may be learning that getting A’s is important, but not nearly as important as how they get them. Perhaps no one models this balance better than Olympic swimmer and world record holder Missy Franklin, who seems to care more about swimming with her friends than swimming in money. She is shockingly talented and refreshingly normal. Now hers is an application I’d like to read.
On that note, as we welcome Hamilton’s Class of 2016 and get ready to “pass the torch” to next year’s hopefuls, here’s to another year of partnering on behalf of students. Yours, mine and ours may not be Olympic athletes, but we know that hard work, discipline and dedication are almost always part of their stories. So, too, is a supportive base, made up of family, friends and “coaches.” Thanks for all that you do to help them achieve their very best.
Monica C. Inzer
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid