I’m looking forward to meeting with the juniors and their families as we begin the next phase of your journey to the future. This should be an exciting time in your lives, but I know well that often students worry about college decisions, and sometimes, even for just a short time, see their worth and value in terms of what college “accepts” them, I want to reach out and let them know that: It’s just school!
Often for juniors, it begins with the PSAT scores, which you will be receiving soon—and students and their parents begin to evaluate their “chances” for “getting into” selective colleges and earning scholarships, when it is only one test, and a tiny piece of the entire picture. For the most part, colleges never see those scores, and students will be evaluated on so many other criteria, primarily the high school they attend, the courses they take and the grades they earn. They also include student interests, activities and their own personal stories—all things within the student’s control. The joy of what I have done for a living for the past twenty-nine years is to have had the opportunity to get to know young people at a time of their lives when they are ready to launch into the future. I’ve been able to see beauty in every single person I have known. And while each college presents its own unique opportunities, you will bring a richness and uniqueness to the experience that far exceeds the location you choose. That’s why we always talk about having a good “fit.” You may have many acquaintances, but you are only best friends with a select few. Never lose sight of how remarkable you are, even for a moment, and definitely don’t let a college admissions office define you for yourself.
College-wise, we will begin scheduling individual meetings with juniors and their families after the break—students are encouraged to set up meetings at convenient times, but we will seek you out otherwise! We are planning a “kick-off” junior college meeting with our MSU and U of M reps, and will notify you once the date is set. Before we begin scheduling family conferences, you will have some homework assignments. First, you will complete the College Questionnaire for the Student and the College Questionnaire for the Parent and return them to College Counseling. You will also complete a college search and bring in the results.—three good choices are from College Board, Cappex and College Navigator. You could do more than one and compare! However, if prior to that time you will be traveling and want to visit some colleges please don’t hesitate to email me and I’ll do my best to give you some general information.
Meanwhile, between inclement weather and holiday revelers, and friends who are home after being on their own for months or longer, it is easy to get caught up in the spirit of celebration and forget to make good choices. Take care of yourselves, and make 2015 your best year yet. Have a safe and happy holiday—and see you next year!