Waiting to hear, then what??????

Even though it does not feel like Spring in New England, we know it is coming.  Gardens are beginning to come back from a long winter, driveway snow stakes are being removed and the Red Sox are one week away from opening day in Texas.  In addition, high school seniors are eagerly searching both electronic and snail mail boxes for word from the colleges to which they applied.   Parents are trying very hard to maintain a “steady eddie” stance while also awaiting word.

For many of our students this decision represents one of the most profound life moments they have faced. With that can come intense emotional reactions.  While we as adults have the wisdom and perspective gained from accumulated experience, our teens may not yet have the ability to not feel defeated by a rejection letter.

During this time it is crucial to remind ourselves and our teens that they have accomplished many other developmental milestones, and that this is another one of those to navigate.   It is a myth that there is one right college for a student.  We know from the research that while colleges differ dramatically what really matters is how our seniors approach school.  Having curiosity for learning, ability for critical thinking, good academic background, strong organizational skills, solid foundation for decision making and judgment,  good social skills and relationships, healthy lifestyle habits of sleep, nutrition, exercise and  a clear sense of self is essential for sending our students off to college successfully.

As the adults who have helped them mature to this point, we should take a deep breath, center ourselves and remember how we felt about our own college acceptance dreams.  Taking an empathic stance and guiding them through the decision making process we can help them remain clear headed during this time.