Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange

CHS Guidance to Seniors: College Acceptances are Not a Measure of Your Worth as a Person

The following was sent by the Columbia High School Guidance Department to Seniors on March 21. It received such an enthusiastic response among parents, students and on social media that Village Green wanted to share it with the community:

Good Morning Seniors,

College decisions from colleges are arriving. Even outside of the college process, this is a time that can be both stressful and celebratory.

The first thing we want to say is that you are phenomenal people, and we are immensely proud of you. The second is a thought: College admissions decisions, wanted or unwanted, are not a measure of your worth as a person.

As those decisions trickle in, for you, your friends, and classmates, we want you to reflect on the incredible kindness that you each possess.

Some of you will get the decisions that you wanted, and that is wonderful. You should celebrate that you received an answer that you wanted to hear. Others will get unwanted decisions, and that will feel unpleasant, maybe miserable. It is okay to feel sad about a decision you didn’t want to hear, but it is important to keep it in perspective. A college couldn’t make space for you – that is all it means.

Whether you got the decision you wanted or one you didn’t, you are not a different person than you were before you opened that message. It can be shocking to get either kind of decision and that is okay too.

Be kind to yourselves. Kindness for yourself means allowing yourself to celebrate good news or lament bad news.

Your friends and classmates are also going to be getting news, and they too, deserve your kindness. Again, your kindness is immense, so please share it! When your friend gets good news, be happy for him or her. When your friend gets bad news, empathize with her or him if they are willing to share. Some people are going to want to share their news, good or bad, and that’s okay for them to do that. Others may want to process their news privately, and please provide them space to do that.

College admissions decisions are not a measure of your worth as a person. Be mindful that your worth is within you. It is always within you, and rather than waiting for a message from a college to make it come alive, it is only waiting for you to recognize it.

Go into the homestretch proud of the work you have done, proud of the development you’ve achieved and excited to march toward graduation. When you receive decisions, let us know so we can celebrate with you.

We are here for you!

CHS Counseling Department

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