It’s finally arrived. Decision day.
You did all your hard work long ago, or so it seems. Taking the SAT, all of that tutoring, even your tutor’s name, probably seems like ancient history.
It’s now been months since you sent in your college applications, months of nervous anticipation.
Some of you know already where you’ve been accepted. And rejected. Many colleges let you know already.
But now it’s about to be completely finished. I believe that every college and university in the country let’s you know by tomorrow, April 1.
It came upon me suddenly, because here in Los Angeles, we don’t really have seasons, so I hardly know it’s spring. A little voice in my head must’ve let me know it’s time, because I just checked my alma mater, Brown University, and learned that if you applied there, you can go online tomorrow afternoon at 5 PM and learn your fate.
Back in my day, we had to wait for the mail. You didn’t even have to open it, because you knew the answer by whether the envelope was fat or skinny. A big fat envelope meant you got in, and a skinny one meant you didn’t.
I’m nervous for all of my students. Some will be elated and some crushed, and for a moment I’ll feel the same as they let me know how it went for them.
Here’s the part about keeping it all in perspective:
After a certain point in life, nobody asks where you went to school, just like nobody cares what you got on your SAT or what your high school grades were.
They just want to know what you’ve done since, and what you’re like as a person.
You can’t control everything that happens to you, you can only control how you respond to it.
If you’ve been accepted to the college or university of your dreams, congratulations!
If you didn’t get accepted to the college of your choice, know that acceptance rates have been dropping for several years and that it’s no reflection on you.
No matter where you go to school, you’re going to make lifelong friends, grow enormously, have more fun than you can imagine, and emerge a very different person from the one you are now.
You might not be able to picture it now, but it’s going to be awesome. All of it.
So let me amend what I just wrote.
No matter what happens today, congratulations!
You’ve worked hard. You’ve done the best that you could. And no matter where you decide to go, you’ll soon be starting your next great adventure.
P.S. If you’re interested, check out this column by Susan Estrich that inspired me to write mine.