A College Counselor Processes Admission Decision Disappointments

So it was a tough week for people who do what I do for a living. The great celebrations of admissions decisions are always wonderful, but helping students and families manage disappointments is difficult and emotionally tears me apart.

So, in the spirit of keeping it real, I want to just post some thoughts that have been in my head and heart now that it’s April 1…and some things I want so much to tell students who are processing disappointments.

1) Being waitlisted or denied does not define you nor does it diminish your amazing achievements or the strength of your profile.

2) Although you may not receive acceptances from every single college/university to which you applied, remember, you will only be able to enroll at one school for Fall entry.

3) For most students who are looking at undergraduate entry now…remember this is one phase of schooling…and most will need to pursue graduate degrees. The right school for you is the one that will best prepare you for that next step–the one that will meet you where you are, support you and challenge you to be your best self in all areas of your life.

4) These decisions are not personal. It’s hard not to take them personally, but please consider the numbers schools are sharing about the sheer competition of this application season. Know that some decisions this year didn’t seem to make sense, even to those of us who do this for a living.

5) Breathe. Process. Regroup. And don’t forget to celebrate your wins and your joys….and don’t harp on or take to heart your losses.

And if you need a little help along the way…there are folks like me who do this work for a living who can offer perspective and want to be helpful. 

I’m holding space for all those who are processing these decisions as this crazy admissions cycle comes to an end.

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