It’s been a very busy season in my college consulting business and in life. Winter is that crazy time of year when students receive the majority of college decisions. For many students this is an exciting and very happy time. Even more students though experience stressful and confusing emotions, deciding which future is the best fit for them; with many factors to consider. For many students, this is the first time they have had the “finances – affordability” talk with Mom and Dad. Reality sets in. Finally, another group of students are receiving denial letters, which can be devastating, especially if they didn’t have a consultant or guidance and either weren’t expecting it or have no back up plan.
I hope that these normal steps regarding the emotional “deniel” experience, will help your student process and/or understand decisions and move on towards the BEST fit for them and to enjoy upcoming graduation and celebrations. I base this on my personal experience as a parent and as a professional independent educational and college admissions consultant.
Denial – of course, the actual denial letter begins this tough process. You may feel overwhelmed, confused, and a little frantic. You may deny that you ever even wanted to attend that particular college. You may choose not to share with friends or family (and that’s ok!). Ultimately, you may just need some time to process what just happened. Next comes anger – you’ll be mad. You’ll question why other students were admitted and you were not. You may question the sanity of the admission representative. You’ll question your parents, yourself, your teachers, and your counselor. Why did your counselor ever even suggest you visit that college?! Why did you listen!? If only your teacher had given you a higher grade. Then begins bargaining – you’ll question what you did wrong. “If only I had done this differently…”. You may also suddenly feel that if you can just be admitted to another school, it’ll make this ok. You may feel that if you call or email your admission representative, you can change their mind. Maybe they actually didn’t read your heart-grabbing essay or maybe they didn’t actually pay attention to your 20 extracurricular activities! Surely, they’re reasonable people! Sadly, some students experience depression, although I’ve been told by a local professional it’s typically episodic and temporary – you may feel sad and wonder, “What’s the point?” “Why study for exams?” “I’ll just hide in my room” Finally, acceptance – eventually, you will learn to accept the decision. And you also very likely received other acceptance letter (s) at some point in the process. One of my students recently said, “Everything happens for a reason.” That’s true, but it doesn’t necessarily make the journey any easier.
The college search and application process is just that – a process. You’ll learn, you’ll grow, and you’ll readjust. And remember, that this process can be hard on everyone – those receiving the decision and those making the decision.
I believe, God plants each and every student exactly where they belong.
God Bless. Carrie