Published Oct 6, 2003

Tomorrow evening, I’m scheduled for an info session for one of the schools I’d like to attend. This info session is quite some distance away, down in Orange County. The question: to go or not?

I’m fairly well-informed about the school and I’m planning to fly out there to visit it for a day, attending classes and talking with real students. Thus it’s relatively unlikely that I would learn any new information about the school that I wouldn’t also learn from my visit.

If I can’t get new information, is it worth me going? Well, there’s certainly a great deal of benefit to meeting the admissions staff from this university and making a good impression upon them. That will signal my interest and make me stand out when it comes time to review my application.

Ah, but there’s the rub: this is not exactly the best week of my life. Certain things in my life are not going as planned, and it will take substantial effort to turn the situation in my favor. Can I make my best impression with all of this stress and distraction? Is it worth making a second-best impression?

It’s all a matter of priorities, I imagine. Were this an important meeting for my company (like many of the sales meetings I’ve scheduled, planned and attended in the last three years), or my one chance to make an impression, I’d have no problem focusing on the info session. But this is really just one among many opportunities to prove myself. A mediocre impression at this session won’t help me (it might not hurt me, but it won’t help me). I’d rather concentrate on making a good impression on-campus.

We’ll return to this decision in a few months when I’ve been admitted or rejected from this school.