Welcome back counselors and ambassadors. Here’s a story to start your week of right.
A few days ago, our boss sent us an email that essentially said the Admission Office will be picking up kids from the airport who don’t have a ride to campus (which is a euphemism for “dead beat football players”). The more jaded staff members in our office just laughed it off thinking it was a joke. Then I was asked yesterday to pick up not only new, incoming students, but returning students (a few super senior students thrown into the mix) as well. The nearest airport is over an hour away, which means I’m going to have to desperately make small talk with these students on the drive back to campus. My questions at this point are: 1) Since when did colleges decide it was their role to handhold students every step of the way (from the admission process to walking the stage at graduation), 2) Why the hell is it the office of admission’s responsibility to pick up new and RETURNING students from the airport?, and 3) what level of hell does this qualify as?
We, of course, have responses for all of these plaguing questions.
(1) Since we as a higher education community had to step in and reflex our “en loco parentis” attitude now that millennials are used to having their parents arrange absolutely every detail of their lives. It is comical how few of these people give a second thought past the assumption that of course a university would offer such a service. And what is even more comical is how many of them will ask for you to make such arrangements even after you don’t provide the service.
Essentially, we’ve all become Admission Concierges. We’ll never again return to the glory days of holding all the cards and actually helping best fit students find the right institution for them. Instead, we’ll spend our days working like a used car salesman, bending over backwards to fulfill some notion that the “customer is always right” because our institutions are tuition-driven, and we need to make people happy to get their warm asses in classroom seats. If people ever think the only area of higher education that has been affected by this failing economy is financial aid and scholarships, think again.
(2) Now that our rant is over, We do agree - why in the world is this an Admissions Problem? Seems to us this would be an Athletics Problem or a Housing Problem or an Orientation Problem an Airport Problem or a (more logically) Personal Problem.
To any prospective students that read this blog (ie: hey you that complained about getting 5 hours of sleep a night because of all your overwhelming work in AP English and the Prom Committee):
Tell your parents and all your friends. If you need a ride to our campus from the airport, here’s the best thing to do.
Step 1: Open a web browser.
Step 2: Type in www.google.com
Step 3: Search for the closest airport to our school.
Step 4: On the airport website, look for ground transportation options.
Step 5: Making your own fucking reservation with your own fucking credit card and leave us the fuck out of it.
Step 6: Pat yourself on the back for a moment of unexpected independence. Feels good right? We do it all the time.
(3) This most definitely qualifies as the seventh circle of Admissions hell. This just barely outranks your boss asking you to host a student from far away overnight in your own personal home because none of your Ambassadors will volunteer to help. So, in that regard, count your blessings. Stick in your iPod on the car ride and tell the kids it helps you concentrate on the road.
Have a good week on the road. Questionable Questions tomorrow.