March was a series of questions:
“Have you heard from (insert college of your choice here) yet?” “Are you committed?” “Did you apply ED, EA, or RD?” “So few people college got accepted there anyway.”
There is a reason that so few got accepted to any sort of college this year. This group of kids, the Class of 2018, are unique. I am not saying that because I am a member of this particular graduating class or because I have encountered it in so many different groups between camp, internships, conferences or schools, but take a look outward.
Due to the acceptance rates that continue to sink lower, the Class of 2018 found themselves forced to involve themselves more than ever. As a result, sports teams became more selective, fewer students got callbacks for the spring musical, prestigious internships started to send out fewer acceptance letters. As a whole, the Class of 2018 had to become more aggressive. It was all to have the pristine application, the perfect resume, to get to that college.
It’s why the Cornell Sun reported the lowest acceptance rate for the university ever for the Class of 2022. The Crimson (Harvard College), news.dartmouth.edu (Dartmouth College), The Hoya (Georgetown University) and the Bowdoin Orient (Bowdoin College) all reported the same result for the competitive class. Suddenly, having been the lead in the school musical four years running was not enough, varsity soccer since freshman year didn’t cut it in the admission office.
This is where the special part of the Class of 2018 emerges. The fact that they did it in the first place, we tried out for the school musical despite crippling stage fright, worked hard at soccer all summer preceding freshman year. The Class of 2018 worked harder to get to the college of their dreams where they may have not tried the number of activities in the first place.
The Class of 2018 try hard and is one the most important qualities in a person. More than any acceptance letter, any level of success, to work hard at something and to know that you did it the best you could, it makes little else matter. The long nights, the “sorry, can’t go” text message sent to friends, the missed family events because of studying, the boyfriend, girlfriend, “friend group” falling to the wayside, that time spent together or apart, it was in pursuit of something.
Whether Stanford or community college or pursuing a job of some sort awaits you, remember you’re a part of one of the most remarkable high school graduating classes of all time. It was the one that came of age during the era of technology, the turn of the century and the millenium. The class of record-breakers.
The class clown in your U.S. history class, wherever they’re going, they worked hard to get there and wherever you’re going, it’s more than likely you did as well.
So, Class of 2018, as you’re turning the tassel on graduation day, thanks for working hard and making this class what it is. As you sit on the football field or auditorium, listening to the list of names shouted over the cheers of family members, look around, you may surprise yourself at what you find. The changemakers, the writers, the musicians, the star athletes, the future doctors; all that have been walking the same walkways that you have for the last couple of years.
Don’t be surprised at them. I’m certainly not.