You all know that my daughter is in the process of applying to college. And some of you may know that college marketing is huge.  Many colleges hold recruiting events in NYC and the immediate suburbs, and my daughter has been attending them when she is interested.

Recently, my Daughter received an invite to a school that is high on her list.  The event was scheduled for a Monday at 630 in midtown Manhattan.  My daughter had a tennis match that same day, which ended at 6pm.  Her tennis match was in another borough, and quite possibly as far from midtown Manhattan as possible.

My daughter doesn’t miss anything.  She hasn’t had a sick day from school since 3rd grade. She is also never late to anything. She asked me- “Should I miss the tennis match? Or should I be late to the event?” I told her that her first responsibility was to the team.  She is both a starter and Co Captain.

She listened to me, won her match, and made it to the event about 15 minutes late.  She was there for the lion share of the presentation and got to chat with alumnae.


When I related this story to someone else, they said she should have blown off the match, because the college thing was more important. They thought of it as a make or break moment for the college admission process.  I thought that if they don’t want my daughter because she’s 15 minutes late for a dog and pony show because she was honoring her commitment to her team, then it probably wasn’t the right school for her.

So I ask of you today, how do you assess a priority?  If you have two things at the same time, what factors go into your decision making process? How do you determine what is more important?

One of my Momism’s is “90% of success is showing up.” I have always stressed the importance of not letting people down, that when you sign up for something, you commit.  But are there times when it’s OK to bail?

So, what are your thoughts? How do handle the double/triple commitment thing?



46 thoughts on “What’s More Important

  1. I’m with you on this one. The committment to the team is the priority. It reminds me of when my son was younger and playing basketball and baseball. His basketball team was still playing when baseball tryouts were starting. Others missed basketball practice to go to baseball tryouts because they deamed the basketball team that was not the top level team less important than trying out for the top level baseball team. My son went to basketball practice and then was late for baseball tryouts. The baseball coach publicly commended my son for his loyalty to his team. That’s the right way to coach.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. She did the right thing in my view.

    I mean, today they’re all going on about how important other interests, hobbies and things are, extracurricular activities. So now suddenly it’s more important to blow those off in favor of a thing that she ended up not really missing to begin with? Bending over backwards to make it to the event quickly after her match? Managing her time, figuring out the best way to accommodate two simultaneous things? Not taking the easy way out by blowing off one or the other?

    She did the right thing.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. My son belonged to a house league baseball team that did crappy all season. Suddenly they’re going to finals. We did not expect this. Which is why now on Fri, he has a baseball final championship game, as well as a hockey game. At the same time.

        We left the decision up to him. He’s 13.5….and it’s his teams. His sports. He had to weigh one over the other, which should he do.

        He chose bball. It was a surprise to get this far. The hockey regular season just started…it’s just one game, not a key game, he’s missing. Baseball is the end of the road, last game with this team.

        He’s trying to honor both teams by communicating with both coaches. Both coaches are supportive to whatever decision he makes.

        This is a life lesson he won’t get in academics, I think. I stand by what I said above. Your daughter will not only do fine in this situation, but with whatever path she chooses for her future.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I applaud you for giving your son the tools he needs to make a solid rational decision. It’s a tough call when seasons overlap like that, but he weighed the options, talked to the coaches and made a decision. Great lesson all around

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree. She did do the right thing. Her commitment to her team is important. It shows she is responsible and respectful. I think your friend is wrong. I think that would send a big red flag to the representative of the school. If the school represents doesnt think that honoring prior commitments is important then you are right. The school isn’t the right one and she needs to cross this one off her list.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s an interesting situation. Avoiding the multiple conflicting commitments is the easiest approach, but that can’t always be done. Just playing Devil’s advocate here, but I would think you would prioritize the event that would have the most impact on your future. There will be a number of tennis matches, but is there only one college recruiting event? I think the college meeting could take priority, if that is the college she wishes to attend. As for the tennis team, you might think of this way. If this is truly a “team” they would wish to help advance each other as well as the whole team. The other team members could have pulled together, recognized the importance of the college meeting, and picked up the slack so your daughter could attend. Your daughter could reciprocate for the team and other members at a later time. The university probably doesn’t view their presentation as a dog and pony show. I was taught to treat meeting a new person, or entity, the way you would a future employer. You never know how things, and people, may circle back in your life. Will your daughter be remembered later as the person who blew off the meeting, or was tardy, or showed a lack of respect? If she applied for admission, then the college is investing time in its recruitment efforts that is important to them. Is winning a tennis match more important than admission to the college? Academics talk and share information. Word spreads. When I worked for a state supreme court judge, he once told me that as an attorney, all you have is your reputation. Once tarnished, it’s hard to shine it up again. Tough call. Just thought I’d offer a different viewpoint 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s how I thought of it. She wasn’t interested
      Interviewing with anyone, and the event was billed “open house 630 to 8”. Now, my interpretation of open house is that you should be able to drop by at any point. For a college who expects their applicants to have a plethora of activities in their resume, Monday at 630 is probably the wrong time to schedule an event. What we saw was a room full of kids still clutching backpacks and sports paraphernalia, cause not one of them had been home yet. I’m a stickler for showing up, but I’m ok with the decision. Now, when she has her actual interview with them….that will come first.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. So the college recruiting event was a way to talk to different College representatives to get a feel of each College?
    If the college event coincided with the tennis match.
    I would have gone with the college event. Those kind of events are where you can ask what kind of scholarship opportunities are available. I have a friend who is a college counselor she tells me the two most commonly asked questions relate to the affordability of the college and scholarships. No parent wants to see their daughter or son riddled with student debt.
    But in this case ,your daughter only missed 15 minutes so she made the right call.
    From my perspective an important decisions not only needs to align with your own good but with the good of your family and maybe even your community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was actually just one college hosting an open house. To be fair, this college gets so many applicants that they don’t even take attendance, because literally over 30 thousand apply for 1400 spots. No one noticed she was late, because she wasn’t the only one walking in with sports gear in her back….including her opponent in her match…..but yeah…I’m ok with her decision


  6. I think you gave good advice, and she did the right thing. It wasn’t a make or break scenario. An “open house” is just that, an opportunity to show up and ask questions. For some kids (and I remember those kids when my kids were involved in activities) they look for any excuse to miss a game or practice. I think sticking to her commitment was admirable.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. whoever said or inferred what your daughter did as being wrong was talking out of their butt. colleges understand high schools sports and schedule conflicts. they know this happens all the time. hell, they problem were impressed that she kept her initial commitment and still made it to see them. that says a lot about a young man or young woman.

    I decide what is most important to me if it’s not work related and if someone doesn’t like it; well that’s just too damn bad for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your advice was correct one. Your daughter made it to both the events. Didn’t miss out(much).
    My decision process is- prioritise what matters more.(Sometimes there’s some who involved too. Keeping in mind if my absence will make much of a difference to those people or not, I ask myself- “will they be able to carry on without me?” & The answer makes a decision for me.)
    Also, considering what is the thing that I would be okay to miss, if there’s a time clash. (& Find out if it can be attended at some other day in near future.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m always so behind in reading other blogger and others have already echoed my thoughts here. But I think you made exactly the right call. Her tennis team is a responsibility she has, and especially as a team captain she needed to be faithful to that commitment. One doesn’t have to commit to a college simply from one college invite event. She has multiple opportunities to check out the college, but that tennis meet was only going to happen once. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

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