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Admission Application Suggestions (Part XX)

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Equally as important as the right institution choosing you is that you choose the right institution.

Look for those that best suit the educational needs of your talents and that, beyond merely contacting you in later years to ask for money, will hopefully be your partner for life.

If given a choice between two top institutions of equal caliber, make great efforts to determine how much they care about you as a person. Black youth typically take the subject of “caring” for granted. For example, I came out of a Black community with a strong sense of being cared about by neighbors, teachers, and the church.

Then, upon pursuing an education at non-Black institutions, I was shocked (and continue to be) at the lack of caring. Black students must prepare to deal with not only a lack of caring but often having their failures cheered.

The thing not to do is to try to escape by running from a first class institution to a second rate institution.

If you want to thrive in life regarding money and status, there is no escape from a lack of caring and racism within the marketplace. Practically every successful Black American has had come face-to-face with both obstacles.

The answer is to be academically, physically, emotionally, rationally, and spiritually strong enough to deal with it head-on. To this end, develop and train the “pure feelings” of your “insights” and hunches as previously outlined for your “sixth sense.” The additions are the gatherings of facts.

True Hunches are an interplay of true feelings and a limited understanding of all the informational elements in the situation. False Hunches are either mere guesses or are based on “bad” emotions.

Insights are “snapshots” of reality resulting from an interweave of true feelings, adequate understanding (e.g. “factual” information contributed to by reasoning) and a productive imagination -- all three synthesized to reach a sum greater than its parts.

All true feelings can be relied upon in decision making.

By having attended many educational institutions in the 1960’s, I get invited to many of their “gatherings.”

At a recent John Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore) “get acquainted” gathering in Beverly Hills for incoming students (absent any Blacks or Hispanics), my “sixth sense” conveyed the same “coldness” I experienced 35 years prior at Hopkins.

Nevertheless, what caught my attention was the Asians (comprising 75% of all the students) talking about their visions of being in such top complex fields as biomedical engineering, geological physics, and pharmacological biochemical research.

The same day, at a “warm” Morehouse/Spelman gathering, I was thrilled to hear courteous Black students also speaking of penetrating into top professions. In addition, Black parents mentioned how they were creating pathways for their own offspring as well as for other ambitious but “confused” Black youth.

For example, one father asked the friend of his son: “why are you wearing such expensive shoes and clothes and driving an expensive car and yet complaining about not having enough money to get an education?”

Another father told how he assisted Black youth “network” at places like Yale and Stanford. Still another said how he helped a Black youth fill out an application to a top school, took that application to the post office, and called the school to ensure they receive it.

Regardless of the institution you choose, it is wise to visit it before committing yourself to going there. First experience it quietly by sitting outside and then inside for an hour. Meanwhile notice your “sixth sense” reaction.

Next talk with the janitors, maids, clerks, secretaries, upper class students, etc, in order to gain information that enables you to develop a “true hunch” directed toward fashioning your final decision.

Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D

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