I feel I speak for all ‘Cac summer tour guides when I say that the best parts of working in admissions over break are:
- You get really good at giving tours
- You get really good at walking backwards
- The questions people ask
“Mom, what state are we in?”
Granted, that question was a private question to her mother, but still…inexcusable.
- The questions people ask, right after you’ve just explained (in detail) exactly what they’re asking about
Me: “…So, that’s how freshman housing works. Are there any more questions?”
Parent: “So, how does freshman housing work?”
Me: “…originally founded as Protestant, but we no longer have any religious affiliation.”
Parent: “So is it a Catholic school?”
I totally understand if you want to know, in painful detail, how the housing lottery works or specifics about a certain internship program or if you have any other slightly-technical-yet-totally-understandable question that you can’t find an answer to online or in a brochure. I especially don’t mind those questions if you’re nice, smile occasionally, and if you laugh at my stupid jokes or tell me when I’m about to walk into something behind me. That I can understand. The best tours are the ones where people ask questions that show they’ve actually been paying attention and are interested, but you can’t always win.
So, to every sullen-faced teenager on my tours:
I get it. I’ve been there. I was, at one time, nervously traveling around to various schools along the east coast asking those same slightly-annoying-yet-totally-valid questions myself. Maybe this is the 3rd college you’ve seen today and you’re tired of sitting through the same information sessions, listening to equally peppy tour guides, and all you want to do is go home or at least back to your hotel room where you can lie down and order room service….
I became a tour guide because I genuinely love my school. I love the people here, the professors, the classes, and, lest we forget, the weekends. I really do mean everything I’m saying while I’m trying to get a half-smile out of you by gushing about our fro-yo machine and our on-campus movie theater. You may be tired, but I’m probably on my fourth tour of the day, it’s hot, my shoe keeps slipping off my foot, and I didn’t have time to take a real shower because my boyfriend kindly shut off my alarm without waking me up this morning. So, if nothing else, at least pretend to be interested and don’t look at me like I’m trying to teach you applied econometrics or about to give you a three-hour “Arts of Africa” exam.
If nothing else, just be glad you’re not walking backwards.