I follow many college admissions blogs but two of my favorites are from Rick Clark of Georgia Tech and Brennan Barnard, the Director of College Counseling and Outreach at The Derryfield School in New Hampshire. What I love about their writing is the way they cut through the chatter and share meaningful perspectives on the college admissions process that simultaneously inform and calm the reader. So you can imagine my excitement when I found a piece that the two of then co-wrote on college admissions. I knew I had to write about it! You can read the “Festivus” piece that they wrote below but I wanted to highlight the takeaways that I think are important:
~Stay ahead of the process. Nothing is stressful until you are working on a tight deadline. Trying to manage essays, applications, transcript requests and test scores at the last minute is a recipe for disaster. Don’t do it. Make a goal to return to school in September with everything ready to submit.
~Find a range of schools that you love. If you only truly like the reach schools on your list, you are setting yourself up for a stressful application season. You need to establish a list of schools where you are excited about all of them, not just the ones that are the most selective. Finding a range of schools requires time and an open mind. This needs to start early in your high school career, not senior year with the clock ticking.
~This is not personal. Rejection is never easy. And for some students, this is the biggest rejection that they have faced in their life. But you have to look at this as a process where colleges are assembling a class. Have you ever built a freeform creation from a tub of legos? Did you pick specific legos to build your masterpiece? Did you end up leaving legos in the tub? Of course you did. There was nothing wrong with the legos that were in the bin, you just had something else in mind for your creation and needed a different size/shape/color piece. College admissions is a similar process. Many students meet the admissions criteria for a school, but sometimes they are overlooked for admissions.