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Friday, January 28, 2011

When Recommendations Attack! (The Worst Letter of Recommendation We've Ever Seen)

The "Seal" of Marymount College?
Some people are just mean—straight-up awful human beings.

It’s bad when you encounter this type of person at the grocery store. It’s worse still when they marry into your family. But perhaps the very worst way you can interact with these wretched creatures is by asking them to write your college letter of recommendation.

You can’t have known the deep hatred for you that has been burning like magma within these teachers and advisers, or you never would have gone within ten feet of them. You probably liked them. You probably assumed the feeling was mutual.

It wasn’t.

I’m sure it was all they could do to keep from giggling when they told you that they’d recommended you with the highest praise. And you, poor soul, had no reason to doubt their word. How surprised you’d be, then, if you knew that they had instead made a very compelling case to us that you ritualistically torture baby seals every Tuesday night, and provided convincing flowcharts that prove that you are the sole cause of global warming.

Read on for the worst letter we've ever received...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Preventing the College Break-Up: Three Questions to Ask Before You Commit to an Academic Relationship

You can always tell when students commit to the wrong college. It starts small. Vague feelings that they just don't feel the same way toward the school as they once did. It becomes hard for them to imagine a happy future together with their chosen institution. Their friends will try to convince them that it's just a phase (all but the bitter, angry friend who has been scorned by a bad college experience in the past). "You used to find the school so attractive," the friends will argue. "Remember the happy days when you first got your acceptance letter? It'll be like that again. It just takes patience."

But that day never comes, and the listless, demoralized students will begin to withdraw—inventing halfhearted reasons to avoid the college any chance they can get. They'll begin to spend hours alone on their computer, checking out other schools' admissions profiles on seedy college-ranking sites.

It goes downhill fairly quickly from there. 

Winner: Water Cooler Wednesday!

Thanks to everyone who posted comments, who emailed comments (not quite what we were looking for, but you sent some gold nonetheless), who thought about posting or emailing comments, and who never considered sending a comment but privately thought of a funny one anyway! As promised, here is the winner of our last water cooler Wednesday question:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Spring Semester is About to Begin! (Orientation Schedule)

Winter is over. 

Our campus will no longer be abandoned to fog, landscapers, and lonely admissions personnel. The locals can pack away the parkas and galoshes that have been so crucial in fending off the frigid 50 degree nights. There will be absolutely no need to check the weather for at least the next 364.2 days, as the divine plague of strange liquid will soon cease falling from the sky. Traffic will lighten considerably, and the Hollywood Elite will no longer have to watch their livelihood take a speedy ride down to PCH on the geographical slip-and-slide upon which they decided to build their palaces.

Rejoice, my So-Cal brethren! Springtime is here!

...Well, academically, at least.

Spring Orientation begins this weekend, and Spring classes begin next Wednesday! Read on for a full schedule! 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Personal Statement Urgent Care Clinic - Part 2

Orchids, Pansies and daffodils are flowers that bear beautiful scents and make good arrangements. These, have taught me much about people how they are identically different yet still the same too. That they are special and beautiful. Learning, this has allowed me to progress forward with courage and dissidence.”

Above is an excerpt from a personal statement that one of our counselors received. Don’t let this be you! Read on for Part 2 of our Personal Statement Urgent Care Clinic.

Personal Statement Urgent Care Clinic - Part 1

What is a personal statement? It seems to mean different things to different people. To many, it’s a redundant pain in the application. To others, it’s a necessary explication of a full and vibrant life. For far too many, it seems, a “personal statement” is a status update on facebook.

Read on for Part 1 of our Personal Statement Urgent Care Clinic

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Water Cooler Wednesday - Comment and Win!

The Question:

It's pretty simple: Respond to the question above with the wittiest/funniest/most insightful [and clean] response on our facebook page or on this post and be entered to win a Marymount backpack full of goodies. We'll pick some of our favorites and highlight them in an upcoming post.

Even better, if you "like" our facebook page, follow this blog and/or follow us on twitter, we'll automatically waive your application fee!

If you want a chance to win, make sure that you give us some way to contact you. Please don't post anything in bad taste. We know we're all adults here, but if it offends us, we'll delete it immediately. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Walk In Application Day - Friday January 14th

Ah, Walk in Application Day. It's like Christmas! ...In January. ...In California—which I suppose is kind of like June in Wisconsin. Hmm...

Regardless, it's cause for celebration! Our Dean of Enrollment [Santa] hands out same-day admission decisions to all the good little girls and boys, while our student workers [Dasher, Dancer, et al.] lead personalized tours around our campus, and the rest of the staff [call us elves] scramble around handing out tasty snacks and reading dozens and dozens and dozens of files.

It's tough to be an elf.

But, it's great to be you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

College Week Live - How to Pay For College (Thursday 1/13)

If Jeeves, your personal butler, is currently spooning caviar onto a vol-au-vent for your culinary enjoyment, please ignore this post.

Likewise, if the song "Like A G6" aptly describes your primary means of travel, you own a pinky ring "valued over $300,000," or you've ever seriously considered purchasing your own island; you can safely stop reading now.

However, if you're looking for some help paying for college and want to chat about with a real admissions professional in a less-real "cyber-office," click here to sign up for College Week Live. It's free, it's fun (well, as fun as chatting about financial aid can be), and you can win $1,500 just for signing up.   

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Day in the Life of an Admission Counselor, or, What We Do, and Why It Takes So Long

Our phones ring a lot. Aside from the urgent calls from the Oval Office and one or two from my mother asking why I'm not coming over for meatloaf, the vast majority are students (or their parents) wondering why they haven't received a decision yet. "What," they ask (and ask, and ask), "Could possibly be taking so long?" 

T.J., one of our counselors, has kindly given you a candid glimpse into a day in his life in hopes of answering this oft-repeated question.