Sunday, October 4, 2009

There is no formula

I had another one of those Admissions-and-life-collide moments tonight during a conversation with one of my housemates this evening. We discussed how there is no formula for most of the important decisions we make… relationships, friendships, choosing a major, starting – or leaving – a career, etc. The best we can do is use the information we have at the time, and follow our heart.

It is reassuring to me to realize that the way we make decisions in a holistic individualized admissions process is exactly the same way we make the toughest decisions in our personal lives. There is no magic formula, no checklist, no clear instructions “if x, then y.” Instead, we collect information (transcripts, recommendations, essays, etc.), thoughtfully analyze these components and the whole that they form, and make the best decision we can with the information we have, and our intuition.

This process may be nebulous, imperfect, frustrating at times, and yet, it is the system we rely on for the decisions that matter most. Often times – in life and in admissions – I wish that decisions could be more clear-cut. But if a simple formula cannot do justice to the complexity of my life decisions, how could I trust it to determine admissions decisions?

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