Love the School That Loves You Back: Embracing College Acceptances

For high school seniors, the college admissions journey can be a rollercoaster of emotions. There are highs and lows and the road can feel neverending. As your teen eagerly awaits decision news there is the hope for a slate of acceptance letters and to receive positive news from each application, especially those that are deemed as the dream schools. However, not every response will be the news that your senior necessarily desires.

Rejection letters can be disheartening, painful and even devastating to many who have not yet had to grapple with hearing no. This leads students to often fixate on the schools that turned them away. They wonder if there was a particular reason for the refusal. Did they not work hard enough, achieve strong enough grades or were their involvements not seen as impressive enough.

But what if we shifted this negative focus? Instead, what if we celebrated the schools that embraced your senior with open arms.

Why it is so important to encourage our teens to embrace the college that has accepted them, even if it was not their first choice. (Shutterstock Monkey Business Images)

Six reasons to help redirect your teen’s attention from closed doors to open ones

1. Academic Fit

The colleges that admitted your teen recognize something special in their academic achievements and potential. They are excited by their passion for learning and dedication to being a member of a thriving learning environment.

They know this will translate to engagement in their classes and will enrich the educational experience for their peers as well. Instead of dwelling on the schools that denied your teen, appreciate the colleges that wholeheartedly believe they will continue to flourish on their college campuses.

2. Community Fit

Beyond academics, colleges strive to build communities that are connected through shared values, diverse perspectives, and a commitment to fostering personal growth and development among each other. The schools that accepted your teen see a match between their values, culture, and your teen’s.

They recognize the unique contributions they can make to their campus community. Encourage your teen to embrace the opportunity to connect with other like-minded peers and to see the opportunity to build meaningful relationships at a college that values their presence.

3. Recognition of Talent and Hard Work

Receiving an acceptance letter is a testament to your teen’s talent, work ethic, and dedication throughout high school. The colleges that admitted them enthusiastically acknowledge your teen’s achievements and believe in their potential to excel even further!

Don’t have your teen sit in a space of pondering why they were denied admission but rather help them to celebrate the affirmation of their efforts and the opportunities that lie ahead.

4. Empowerment to Choose

With acceptance news in hand, your teen finally holds the power to choose their future. This is the fun part! Help them to lean into this time in their senior year to fully investigate their options. Maybe this involves returning to campus for an accepted student program or attending virtual events hosted by the admissions offices.

Encourage your teen to contemplate their choices in a thoughtful manner whether this is putting together a pros and cons list, talking with current students and professors or imagining what their life at that college could potentially look like.

As the parent, you can help to turn the tide and support your teen by showing them the beauty that lies in front of them and the gift in selecting the college that best aligns with their goals, aspirations, and values. This is their moment to chart out their next academic path and create the future that’s right for them.

5. Focus on the Good

By shifting your teen’s attention to the colleges that are extending a warm welcome to join their freshmen class, you are helping your teen to foster a mindset of gratitude, appreciation and positivity. This approach is a priceless gift you are giving to them at this moment. You are teaching your teen to embrace the joy of new beginnings.

6. Leaning into Open Doors

Life is full of closed doors and open doors. While it’s natural to feel disappointed by rejection, it’s important for your teen to realize that the open doors lead to new opportunities. These are critical life lessons for your teen to learn and you can help them during this pivotal time in their lives.

The colleges that accepted your teen represent a world of possibilities and adventures awaiting to be explored! Invite them to embrace this moment with enthusiasm and an open heart. As you help your teen finalize their college admissions process, remember to have them celebrate the acceptances, embrace the opportunities, cultivate a mindset of gratitude and love the school that loves them back.

More Great Reading:

College Rejection: How to Take the Sting Out of Bad News

About Laurén Carter

Laurén Carter has dedicated her entire career of 30+ years to the college admissions and college counseling profession. She spent a decade in university administration and served as the Director of College Admissions at NYU. Additionally, she has served as Contributing Writer for the Huffington Post and is an Instructor for UCLA Extension, College Counseling Certificate Program. Laurén has also directed college counseling programs at independent schools for over 25 years. Laurén is the author of the Amazon best selling book, Mindful Admissions: An Insider’s Guide to Staying Sane, Applying Well and Getting Accepted to College.

Read more posts by Laurén

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