I took a two-hour break yesterday evening from the senior application season to offer VMS juniors and parents a look at the next two years through a program I’ve dubbed, Officially Launching the College Search. I love being a college counselor, but I love even more that each student will land appropriately at a school to which they will be welcomed and, subsequently, will create their own unique and fulfilling experience. Last night, waiting for members of the junior class to arrive, I was thrilled, excited, delighted to be at this place with the junior class – almost giddy, as it is a big, wonderful step and privilege.
However, I knew that some students wouldn’t be as thrilled or excited as me. In fact, it’s perfectly normal that words such as anxious, nervous, and unsure could describe how they feel. I assured the group that some will do this “college search thing” at a different pace, with different goals, and even with different feelings. And perhaps, the best advice to begin the college search and more specifically, an exploratory stage, is not necessarily anything college specific. Rather, I recommend the following in order to stay the course (at your own pace), and strengthen what is already being done at school and in other endeavors:
- Prioritizing and organizing;
- Thinking of others, even before yourself;
- Using good judgment when making decisions;
- Taking advantage of the opportunity to be a good student and community member at VMS;
- Remaining positive, even in stressful times.
I am confident that the college search can be as fruitful, enlightening, and rewarding for the junior class as it has been for the many students who have come before them. During our meeting the other night, I shared the following slideshow. Enjoy.