Why I Wish I Had A Magic Wand


You are your own good news. You can create a future for yourself, full of connection and purpose. Beneath the fear of inadequacy and the self-consciousness that suffuses public evaluation, you’re in there. You have gifts and power and will develop more of both. Tend your crops as best you can and that will be enough. I promise.”

~Kelly Corrigan

This weekend I posted this quote on social media from a letter that Kelly Corrigan wrote. The full piece is here. I was amazed at how many people reached out to thank me for sharing it. Her writing resonated with people in high school, college and beyond. The same weekend that I posted this piece, I was driving some of my favorite ninth graders home after an evening gathering at our house. As I drove, one of my young passengers brought up college admissions and I listened in the darkness as they talked. Finally, I heard a voice from the back of the car say, “Ugh, it is just SO SCARY!” I wanted to pull the car over and tell them that they should not be scared, that they all have loving, supportive families. They are all kind, capable and have shown themselves to be stunningly devoted and caring friends. Each and every one of them has myriad personal skills, gifts, talents and resources that no standardized test will ever be able to measure nor a soaring GPA be able to convey. These kids are all going to shine in high school and beyond. I wanted to stop the car and tell them all of this but I did not because I am not their parent nor their college counselor and it is simply not my place. So I just piped up and said, “Don’t worry! No one should be scared”. But I wanted to quote Kelly Corrigan and remind them of “…their goodness and capacity that is impervious to both recognition or rejection”.

The car ride and the outreach about the Kelly Corrigan piece all in one weekend made me think about the college process and the toll it takes. I have written at length about the path to peace in college admissions here and here. I have written about what I think parents and students should really be anxious about here. (And it is not about getting accepted!) I wish I could wave a wand and alleviate the stress around college admissions that I see. But I am not at Hogwarts and I do not have a magic wand, so I am just going to keep writing and sharing pieces that I think can help people feel less anxious about the journey to college. And to ALL of my 2022 peeps, I will paraphrase Corrigan one more time and say, “I am rooting for you!”


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