Words of wisdom to high school seniors and their parents as they eagerly await Early Admission decisions now and Regular Admission decisions later.
College admissions decisions for the Early Decision admission plans are generally communicated to high school students between mid December and early February. Despite the fact that admissions decisions are not the measure of a young man’s or woman’s worth, academic potential or capacity as citizens, we erroneously imbue this process with the power to define his or her success. Decisions received, both admit and deny, are seen as conveying and denying opportunity.
The reality is that there is no one right school for any student. Furthermore, there are wonderful opportunities for students at a vast number of schools. Of course, where the student goes matters. But an education is not conferred by virtue of place. Rather it is earned by the student through hard work, effort and a willingness to grow, be challenged, take risks, interact with faculty and become engaged in the academic and extracurricular life of the community. What a student does in college and his or her interactions with faculty matters a lot. All of that, rather than the admission decision received, will ultimately define his or her success.
Published in The Loop (www.getinloop.com) December 18, 2008, as a Letter to the Editor in The Globe, the student newspaper of Mamaroneck High School, for January 2009, and as an Op Ed in the Nov/Dec 2011 edition of The Globe.