Throughout the college application journey, we research the “best fit” colleges, edit resumés and reflect on character building, write and rewrite numerous essays, and have long discussions about planning for the future. We are grateful to our students who are willing to be vulnerable, open, and reflective throughout this process and we hope our students feel a stronger sense of self as a result.
As Thanksgiving and the holiday season fast approaches, we encourage you – whether you are a parent, current student, or prospective student – to practice gratitude towards others. A former student once shared that before they go to bed each night, they think of three people, moments, or experiences from that day for which they are grateful. In this exercise that takes less than one-minute, this student is prioritizing a mindful approach to being more grounded in their everyday life, recognizing and acknowledging special opportunities, and staying connected to others.
We know the breadth of emotions you each have been feeling this past year-and-a-half, let alone these last few months in the college process. You are not alone in how you feel. Imagine if each of us set aside the little time this exercise requires. Undoubtedly, it would create ripples in the ways in which we relate to those around us, and the sense of support we feel in our communities. Take a minute to send a text to a friend, family member, co-worker, or mentor to let them know you are thinking of them and are thankful for their presence in your life. You’ll be surprised by the impact it makes.
Better yet, pay your gratitude forward. Reach out to mentor a younger sibling or student at your school. Remind them of the supports that are available and encourage them to engage in school, strive to be a leader, and aspire to college. Give them reasons to be grateful.
Parents – this opportunity to be grateful applies to you as well. Admission to college feels like the final frontier of your fading control over the well-being, and futures, of these beings that you have nurtured for almost two decades. It can be a time that is fraught with anxiety, miscommunication, and tension. It can also be an opportunity to pause and consider just how hopeful you are for your teen(s) and what lies ahead for them. Whether you are celebrating a Thanksgiving free of college talk, or you find yourself during the holidays worrying less about a fully cooked turkey and more about your teen’s future, take time to be grateful for this bonding experience with your child.
We are grateful to each student and family we have worked with this year and thank you for trusting us to guide you through the college process. Our journey together is far from over, but we hope you know our depth of gratitude and we will continue to be supportive of you.