As the early January deadlines loom, you may be laboring over the finishing touches to your application. Or maybe you’ve already hit submit and are catching your breath after a hectic senior fall. Either way, within the coming days many of you will have crossed the proverbial finish line. Congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back for becoming masters of juggling; writing English papers while tweaking your personal statement, participating in your varied extracurriculars while also articulating why they matter to you, taking the ACT only to turn around and study for a calculus test the following Monday. You get my gist. Applying to college is an achievement, and it’s one to be celebrated.
However, while you find a way to treat yourself and celebrate your accomplishments, this is also an important moment to reflect on the college application process and who helped you along the way. Here are some examples to get you thinking:
Did you have teachers who took the time to craft thoughtful letters of recommendation about your spectacularness and helped us admission counselors gain an insightful look into who you are?
Or, a dedicated counselor who over years guided your academic trajectory and who also wrote you a glowing recommendation?
Was there a coach on the sidelines or a theatre director in the wings (excuse my terrible puns) who deepened your interests and mentored you?
How about parent/s coming along to multiple college tours and Saturday morning open houses? Or, perhaps they stayed up late reading the fourth re-work of your personal statement?
What about a relative/sibling/friend you shared your anxieties with? Someone you vented to and who was always there with words of reassurance?
Be thankful for the many people in your life who have been there for you in your journey to college. While some of these people may have directly impacted your college search or application, do not forget about those who have helped your development in more subtle ways. Be grateful for the friends, family, counselors, mentors, co-workers, teammates, and role models who shaped you into the “you” us admission counselors see in your application. French novelist Marcel Proust said, “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our soul blossom.” Now that your applications are wrapping up, go tell your gardeners how important they are to you and how influential they’ve been. Thank this support system sincerely, profusely, and possibly with baked treats!