NACAC Fair report: Charlotte, NC

I believe that there are 4 categories of students who attend college fairs. That is probably narrowing it down a little too much, while also being too broad. At this moment in time, I’m just proud of the fact that I can actually do that. However dumb I am or am not, let’s get to it:

1) The student whose main goal is to find out how far away your school is going to take him/her. This is usually the student who wants to live at home or is too afraid to move away. On occasion, I’ll have students who are looking to go far. One girl actually told me that if she attended our school, her mom would, let me see if I can get this right, “Be all up in my stuff every weekend.”

Some of these students have jobs near home or a boyfriend who has committed to the local college’s baseball team. For some reason, these students stand out to me.

2) Those who care most about the “extras.” Where is the closest city? Are you a suitcase school? How many roommates will I have? Do you have good food? Can I bring a car? Will you convince my mom that I need a new laptop? Then, upon asking them what they might consider studying, it is more often than not: Undecided. I’m not saying high school students should know what they want to do right off the bat. I’m not sure what I want to do, and I’m almost a year past graduation. These questions intrigue me, though. Maybe, JUST maybe, if everything else is exactly so, life’s plans will come about with ease. Yeah, that’s it.

3) The program kids. Guy walks up to the table, or better yet, his DAD, and says, “Tell me about your engineering program.” These are the people who turn an ordinarily very nice admissions counselor into the lowest, dirtiest used-car salesman alive. Why, Yes-we do have engineering. In fact, two of our graduating seniors are going to MIT next fall, and another has just found an more earth-friendly alternative to combustion.

I “keed” as intraweb people say…No, I do not lie about our programs. But with these student/parents, you basically have less than five seconds to find exactly what to say that will set your very ordinary program apart from the other ten schools who have the same thing. Pretty much: May the force be with you.

4) Ear bud kings and pink-jeweled razr queens, unite! Or, if that shows too much commitment, just raise an eyebrow. I absolutely love the completely indifferent kids. They have no clue about things like: small school/big school preferences, vicinity to home, or gender-specific jeans, perhaps. The best is when these gems are 10-15 feet behind a helicopter parent. Mom’s all, “Johnny needs a small school environment to personalize his educational experience.” Johnny continues to stare at me and not care that I can hear his TooL song almost as well as he can. Sometimes he’ll roll his eyes in response to what mom just said. Yes. We will give him a personalized educational experience, Ma’am. Provided that he doesn’t kill our kittens. Not all apathetic kids are scary, mind you. There is one common theme though: I hate being here more than the next person, and will give you every reason not to talk to me.

Fine. I’ll talk to Jane here about how being 45 minutes away from home is not the same thing as moving to Nebraska.


~ by Lindsey on 19 March 2007.

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