Patience

With any New Year comes promises, well wishes, and goals.  In thinking about my own resolutions for 2014, I naturally turned my thoughts to the college search and the work that will ensue collectively with students in January.

While much has changed over the years with the college search, and for that matter – college in general, there are some aspects that haven’t changed.  Perhaps the single most important ingredient needed in facing the challenge of searching, researching, applying, and making a decision regarding college, is patience–long considered a virtue, and one that has been noted for some to take a lifetime to master.

As a coveted virtue and skill, linked inevitably with emotion, it thus has been incorporated for years in literature and song. Take, for example, the famed Guns N’ Roses’ Patience, which was a popular Billboard hit around the time I was applying to college.  I’m quite sure singing along to this classic proved a stress reducer at one time or another in my teenage years.  We also can be reminded and encouraged through well-known quotes – such as one of my favorites – “patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

I won’t attempt to compare the college search with love gained or lost (or any other message communicated)–despite common threads–and often the subsequent need for patience. We all find particular meaning in various offerings as we see fit.  I leave a few thoughts for the new year to those seniors who are still awaiting news, and to juniors who in this new journey are jumping in with both feet:

-Be patient with your college search. Don’t assume it will all come easily and quickly.  Like many endeavors, the amount of time and quality invested is often represented in the end.

-Be patient with yourself.  The college search, as a rite of passage, is for growth, maturity and new discoveries.

-Be patient for the sake of being patient.  Exhibiting patience is indicative of mastering emotional intelligence, a skill and asset needed more and more in life.  Think of the college search as gaining more than admission.

-Be patient together.  Let’s make a pact to support one another by listening carefully, being thoughtful in words and actions, and taking deep breaths to maintain balance.  If needed, I’ll be happy to demonstrate my personal favorite stress reliever–singing Guns n’ Roses at the top of my lungs!

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