Mid-March….the best of times and the worst of times for seniors who are applying to top schools.
By now, most schools have sent out acceptance letters. Congrats to those of you with acceptance letters in hand, and double congrats if you have a nice scholarship offer!
But some of you are still waiting to hear from the most selective schools, schools like Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, Emory and Vassar. Getting into a highly selective school is like catching the brass ring on the merry-go-round. Everyone thinks, “I will be the one who will do it!”
And you might be! You might be one of the 20% or less who gets accepted.
But…what if you aren’t?
The last two weeks of March bring the most rejections. This year will be no exception. These schools have been bragging about their record-breaking numbers of applications. They don’t brag about how that translates into a record-breaking number of rejections. If you are used to being one of the smartest in your class and being successful if you just try hard enough, it can be painful to be told “no.” Especially if you hear it from multiple schools!
A good strategy right now, while you are waiting, is to fall in love with the schools that have already admitted you. Picture yourself on one of those campuses. Check out the admitted students’ Facebook pages or read about some of the exciting research going on there. Mentally assume that you will be going to one of those colleges. You carefully selected those schools out of 4,000 colleges and universities for a reason. Embrace your options.
Frank Bruni of the New York Times has been getting a lot of press this week because of this column:
It is well worth reading, with lots of great advice about getting through the next two weeks. It sounds trite to say “hang in there, you will get through this.” But it is true. And it is also true that where you go to college matters much less than what you do while you are there.
Whether the decision is “Congratulations” or “We’re sorry,” you will be fine. No doubt, you have some terrific options already, and by next year at this time you will be happily finishing your first year of college. Gulp!
Author: Teri Thompson