Visiting Colleges & How To Create A List You’re Happy With
When April of her senior year rolled around, she was only admitted to ONE college. One. She was denied at 14 schools. This story still haunts me to this day. From that day forward I never wanted that crushing rejection to hit another kid as hard as it did for Saige.
Saige was a solid B student, a few AP courses, average test scores, and a good list of activities. A kid like Saige would have access to any number of colleges across the country, just not the highly selective ones. She was a good writer – but short of having a first novel published, good writing was not going to get her foot in the door of the most selective colleges in the country. And that’s what Saige believed was in her future. I knew it was not.
When she came to my office to finalize her list, her list was filled with elite private schools and the top two CA public schools. We sat for an hour negotiating her list for my list of colleges — like two 4th graders exchanging lunch items from our lunch pails, “I’ll give you my fudge stripe cookies for your bag of gummie bears.”
That spring, Saige had only ONE college that said YES. Only One.
I don’t want this for you.
I learned a tough lesson years ago – and that is this:
The only goal of the college admission process is to maximize each teen’s choices. PERIOD. Parents and teens must let go of their ego and dream adequately, hope appropriately, and remain realistic about a process that sometimes feels unfair and harsh.
If I have to offer tough love in order for you to have more acceptance letters than denial letters – Then I will deliver the candid and tough news in the most loving way possible.
There are no do-overs in this process, and having only ONE choice does nobody any good. If you promise to listen to what I share today, I promise to give it to you straight. Pinky Swear!!
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