I am a fan of The Voice. I love hearing the talented voices and the contestants’ inspiring backstories. But for me, the blind auditions are the most exciting part of the season. The contestants perform as the four judges evaluate their voices on their merits alone, while they sit with their backs to the stage. To cast a favorable vote, the judge pushes a button that turns his or her chair during the singer’s performance. Having one or more chairs turn means you’re in the game.
The one chair turn makes the decision easy for the contestant. That judge automatically mentors the vocalist throughout the competition. If more than one judge turns his or her chair that’s when the drama builds. Each coach tries to convince the vocalist why he or she would be the best-fit coach. The contestants have only a few minutes to decide which coach is right for them.
At times the college application process feels much like the “blind auditions.” Sometimes colleges make decisions based on application materials alone, without having met or spoken to the student. Sight unseen, the college accepts or denies the student. Students who have multiple “chair turn” schools will have to decide which school will serve them best academically, socially and financially. This decision can be extremely daunting and at time confusing for some students, even for those who thought they had a clear-cut first choice school.
Thankfully, students do not have to decide on a school instantaneously, but rather have until May first to select a school. In an effort to help make the decision process easier, colleges offer on and/or off campus accepted students events. Keep in mind, however, that the purpose of these events is to woo students, which is not dissimilar to what The Voice coaches do during the blind auditions.
When narrowing down the choices, students should revisit their top two or three schools. Speak to current students and faculty members, attend classes and spend time on campuses during a regular school day. Ultimately, students should select the school where they will be best supported in and out of the classroom and where there is room to grow into the person they aspire to be.
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