The week of college acceptance/rejection my senior year definitely stands out in my memory. Every night I walked into the kitchen where an assortment of envelopes sat waiting for me. My parents were also waiting for me, but in the other room. They let me have my moment of opening small envelopes and feeling defeated. The weight of the world was in these envelopes, and I kept getting waitlisted at schools. My parents would then walk into the kitchen, reassure me my life would turn out ok, and listen to me freak out before I went to bed.
Today we had a segment on how parents can help their teenagers face college rejection. WATCH VIDEO One of the key points that Loyd Thacker, author of "College Unranked", made was that kids should not take rejection personally, because it is not a personal process - there are a lot of elements that go into the dean's office's decision and there are a lot of politics involved. Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist and mother of four, also made the point that it is not the time for comparison - try to steer clear of letting your child look at other students' scores, GPAs, etc. because in the end, it is not a fair process. In the same vein, you should avoid the "blame game" and try to pin the outcome on anything or anyone specifically.
I also think it's worth noting that both guests emphasized the point that where you go to school has very little to do with the quality of education you'll receive, and also what kind of person you will become. Loyd pointed out that education has a lot to do with a student's confidence, comfort and inspiration, which are things that come with an environment that suits the individual. This environment may not be the most competitive environment, or the highest ranked college in their application pool. These things come from an individual, not from a school's ranking.
While I can appreciate these points now, I certainly had a much different perspective in the thick of it, especially feeling the pressures from a competitive high school environment. I think it's very important for parents to talk to their high school seniors about their choices in school and to try and impress upon them the now-obvious truth that it's really not where you go, but what you do with your experiences that will make your college years meaningful, and fun!