By the time this post is live, I will be done with recruitment.  I have a weekend of interviews in Houston, where I will talk to 28 high school seniors over two days and pray that I don’t ask one of them the same question twice.  I say this every year, but I seriously do not know where fall went.  As massive of an undertaking every recruitment season feels like, it always seems to disappear before you realize it.  My ’work travel’ email folder only has three confirmations left in it–which is good considering what happened last week in San Luis Obispo: I locked myself out of my hotel room immediately after checking in and, when the front desk attendant asked me which room I was in, I stared at her blankly and admitted I had no idea.

You might think that after three years of recruiting in the same territory I would no longer get lost and would know exactly where the front office of every school is.  I wish this were true.  I often find myself in the mental dilemma of not knowing whether a road/entrance looks familiar because it was where I got lost last year or because it is the right way to be going.  If ever there were a reality show about admission counselors, a live camera in the car would likely be the most entertaining part of my storyline.  Unless you’re interested in a case study on how many times a day a person than think they’ve left their cell phone or car keys somewhere, then the cameramen would want to follow me into the schools.

I’m trying to think of things I learned this season, as this is supposed to be my wrap up to the whole series.  Things I learned, in no particular order:

  • If you think the bites on your body aren’t just mosquitos, change hotel rooms.
  • I will never have a great sense of direction.
  • I still do not look my age, according to most adults.
  • It is impossible for me to be less than 90 minutes early to an airport.
  • The AUX jack is never where you want it to be.
  • The image below will always prompt the question “are these the same thing?” at some point during a college fair.

Intro to USC

Daylight Saving Time is upon us and, just as Pumpkin Spiced Lattes mean travel season, DST means file review reason.  I love file review– which to some people means I am a nerd and to others means I enjoy routine and not listening to myself talk all day.  Either way, it is nice to be reintroduced to students you’ve met via their applications and meet thousands of students for the first time as you review their applications.  File review is a long road, but so was recruitment just two and half months ago.  As my colleague Corey always says, it’ll be WACAC before you know it!

On a personal note, I’ve really enjoyed documenting recruitment and being able to reflect on the things that motivate me through travel season.  I hope readers (are there readers aside from my mom?  Hi Mom!) were able to get a sense of what it is like to be an admission counselor. I also hope students see that admission counselors are real people too.  Although this ends “Table For One”, expect some additional posts from me as I tackle the SAT on December 7th (no, I didn’t lose a bet) and finish out my fourth reading cycle.  I hope everyone out there has a break post Early Decision deadline and before the madness continues.  If you’ve taken anything away from my posts, I hope you know never to let someone shame you for being a party of one.  And if they you, you should definitely blog about it.

P.S. I only asked one student a repeat question.  I call this a personal victory.

Sam can be reached at and loves feedback/cat facts/Scandal gossip.  Be sure to follow us on Twitter @WACAC (which she manages) and Like us on Facebook for more updates on blog series’ and WACAC events.

By Sam Schreiber