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A letter to those accepted, rejected, waitlisted, or waiting for college decisions

Dear Seniors,

Most regular decision announcements have been coming out over the past few weeks, with more anticipated until April. We’ve been hoping to see the words, “The Admissions Office is delighted to inform you of your admission to our Class of 2021…”

For those accepted, you did it! Well done! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done! Your hard work has, at long last, paid off. Right after that, thank the people who helped you reach your goals. After all, you wouldn’t be here without your parents, mentors, coaches, friends, etc.

For some of us who get a slew of acceptances, keep your feet on the ground and remind yourself that you are mortal. Don’t get carried away and let all the acceptances get into your head so that it affects your attitude personally and at school; senioritis is the last thing you need to hinder your progress in remaining semesters. Stay humble and grateful. After all, you needed to work hard to get where you are now!

However, many of us will also see on our screens, “The Admissions Committee has carefully reviewed your application and we regret to inform you that we cannot offer you a place in the Class of 2021…” These will be potentially soul-crushing, tear-inducing sentences as we stare at screens, unable to comprehend.

Rejection hurts. It hurts especially when it’s coming from a dream school. Rejections in life, however, are inevitable: you can’t always win. Success is not a straight line going upward; they’re full of loops and sudden turns, but that’s how life is. It’s what you make of this rejection that matters. Will you crouch in utter defeat, dwelling on the past and regretting essay responses, or will you get back up, shake it off, and aim even higher?

The latter choice is the key to true success. One must know failure before success.

For those waitlisted, what a special status you’re in: not quite in, yet not quite out! You’re in the middle of some weird, murky zone of the unknown. It may seem like purgatory, or it may seem like limbo. It may be confusing, but decide whether you want to stay on the waitlist or not, while considering other acceptances. Email the admissions office.

If you’re still waiting (which, by the middle of March, is quite rare,) hang in there. A week may seem extremely long; after all, it’s seven days, 168 hours… but the week will fly by. Carry on with normal life while doing the things you enjoy doing, and decision day will be here before you know it. Do not obsessively check portals; they’ll only cause a substantial distraction.

Meanwhile, if you’re still waiting for more decisions to arrive, celebrate the acceptances you already have with friends and family. Always be thankful of what you already have.

Whatever the outcome of those decisions are, we all come out smarter and wiser than when we went into the world of college applications. The skills we acquire will carry us through the future in job applications, interviews, and many other events. Wherever you end up attending in the fall, take advantage of the next chapter of life and enjoy it to the fullest!

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