At the start of the school year, Camren sat down and mapped out all the universities he was interested in attending to begin the application process. The top of his list has always been Mount Allison because it has excellent coaching on the swim team, and it was a school he was most familiar with.

His list included Carlton University, University of New Brunswick, Mt. Allison, University of Victoria, and Aberdeen in Scotland, and I threw in Brown University and Stanford University for fun.

He applied to all of the schools except for Brown and Stanford. He discounted Aberdeen as too expensive early on.

What is interesting to me, as an observer and advisor, is how his decision is being shaped. All of these schools, except one, have regularly contacted him during this process. UNB and Mt. A reached out with personal emails from students offering help. The coach at Mt. A has checked in as well. There is genuine and sincere interest from these schools in seeing him attend.

He has had zero communication from the University of Victoria, which, after we visited, he was convinced he would attend. But since then, he has lost interest, with emails unanswered and zero effort from the swim team coaches.

A little communication goes a long way to shaping his (or anyone’s) decision.

There is no right or wrong here. His final three choices, U.Vic, UNB, and Mt.A, have sound academic programs.

U.Vic will offer greater personal growth, UNB’s swimming program is superbly funded, and Mt.A has a good mix of sound academics and the chance to compete (it has also offered scholarships).

We are both quite underwhelmed with U.Vic’s recruiting effort, especially after all the work he has put into attending there. Many university programs are highly competitive, but that competition works both ways, and unfortunately only some universities recognize that.