College Smart Advising

My Thoughts on College Applications


Decision Day

It is hard not to view the end of the college application season as the grand finish line to the marathon process of researching colleges, drafting and revising essays, and submitting applications. 

For some, the finish line is a celebration with balloons and a Gatorade bath. If this is your story, Congratulations on your good news! Take a moment to reflect on your journey and thank the people who helped you: your parents, teachers, counselors, friends, and others. But, after the confetti settles, keep in mind that your story is just beginning. Simply getting in is not enough. Make sure you keep up the pace that brought you here, finish high school and start college with determination, energy, and enthusiasm to take advantage of the opportunities you have been given.

Unfortunately, other students may not receive the results they had been dreaming about. Instead of the hoped-for outcome, they receive a polite email with soothing platitudes about how competitive the applicant pool was. And, other students may be waitlisted at their top choice and discover that the finish line has shifted from Spring and into Summer. These students might question whether all of their efforts over the past few months and years was wasted. I get it. Rejection sucks. Take a moment to mourn. And then, my advice to you should sound familiar: Thank the people on your support team. Choose a new destination and rededicate yourself to embracing the challenges and opportunities of the coming years.

Getting into one college or another does not guarantee success. Likewise, not getting in, does not make you a failure. The reality is, that, no matter the outcome of this round of decisions, the race has just begun. Lace up your shoes and grab some Gatorade, you have many more miles to go.