Philosophy and Purpose
"A college education should be more than a merit badge. It should be a passport into an interesting, fruitful life.”
Bill Mayher, The College Admissions Mystique
Entering the college search represents another stage in your education at Hathaway Brown. While you have spent the last few years learning and practicing skills of critical inquiry and analysis, the college search offers you a different opportunity for personal growth and learning, and a chance to apply your developing skills to an important undertaking in your life. Everything that you have learned, both in the classroom and out, will inform this process. The well-known psychologist Dr. Michael Thompson describes the college search as a time when you are beginning to define yourself as separate from your parents and HB, as you truly begin to imagine your life as an adult. With you in charge, your family and college counselors will serve as your teammates in the college process, with each of us carrying different responsibilities. As in many facets of life, teamwork counts here; each of us plays an important role:
Your responsibility is to conduct an honest search using your needs, values, talents, and aspirations as your guide. With our help, you will decide where to apply, what to write your essays about, and whom to ask for recommendations. You will be responsible for filling out your forms, keeping track of and adhering to College Office and university deadlines, and signing up for standardized tests. Your job is to make sure that you think, question, read, research, visit, and interview so you can make informed, knowledgeable choices.
While you lead the way, your family will play an active role in the process. To reflect back on a recent rite of passage that many of you have gone through, your parents will be in the “car” with you, offering guidance and direction, but you’ll be in the driver’s seat!
Our job as college counselors is to serve as educators, informing you of the details of the college search and your array of choices. We also educate our colleagues on the college side about HB and about you as individuals. We are your advocates and help interpret your high school experience and accomplishments via the School Letter of Recommendation and through our conversations with admission officers. Finally, we serve as a liaison to our faculty community and inform them of the current state of college admissions and the importance of their Faculty Letters of Recommendation.
You, the individual student, are at the center of the work of the College Office. Engaging in honest self-reflection and taking real stock of your abilities and needs will help you succeed in finding an array of colleges that are a good “match” or “fit” for you. While, ultimately, the colleges make the admissions decisions, you do have a great deal of control over how you proceed through the college search, and the decisions you make will impact its ultimate “success.” We have many structures and procedures in place to help you have the strongest possible choices from which to select your best match. Your passport is waiting; let’s begin.