For the past eighteen months, I feel like I have been waiting for this day. The day when my girls would have all of their college admissions decisions and the anxious wait would be over. Responses have been slowly trickling in since December. A few excited early decision responses. A few colleges sent out notifications in February. Slowly, but consistently, we have been receiving responses from colleges. Then, March came.
The past month has been a roller coaster of emotions for both the students and myself. One moment, I would look at my phone to an upset text about not being accepted to one of their top three choices. A few hours later, my phone bursts with excitement over a much hoped for acceptance letter from the same student. I would hop of the phone with one student with my own joyful tears as we celebrated the success of being admitted to one of their reach colleges and then follow up with another conversation consoling a student who was denied admissions to the very same school. I think it's safe for me to speak on behalf of my students and myself when I say, it was exhausting.
I tend to over internalize responsibility for the bad and not internalize enough of the responsibility for the good. To me, these girls are perfect. I know they would have excelled academically at any of the institutions they applied to and made significant contributions to the Class of 2019. However, I was not on the admissions committees. I wrote thoughtful letters that I poured hours into for each student selecting each word with intention. I proof read essays until I had them memorized and could recite them in my sleep. I gave everything I had and utilized every resource imaginable (you know if I begged you repeatedly for your insights) to make these applications as impeccable as they could possibly be. So when I would get the call/text/email with the upset emoji, my heart broke. I would feel like I let the girls down. I would internalize the decisions not in the 30,000 students applied for less than 5,000 spots kind of way but in the what did I not push them to do to be successful in this application process. I would get upset with myself over why I insisted the girls to apply to certain selective schools. What had I not thought of to include in their application that would have tipped that wait list or rejection to acceptance. I've analyzed and assessed every detail in my mind too many times.
Then, I pause and remind myself of the process and why I did this in the first place. I wanted these girls to have the opportunity to accesses resources and guidance beyond the minimal that they would receive from their high school. I wanted them to have the support that some pay $15,000 (yes, this is a real fee from a college advising service) for. While the rejections are disappointing, I am so unbelieveably proud of my girls for their courage to step outside their comfort zone and apply to schools they never imagined stepping onto campus let alone attending. The application process is intimidating but I am in awe of their willingness to confront it head on applying to and interviewing with some of the best schools in the country.
As exhausting as this month has been, the past year and a half of working with these girls has been the most meaningful in my life. I have loved being part of this journey with them and am immensely grateful to them for allowing me to be part of this process with them. For having faith in me and trust in me to guide them through this complicated process. I can't begin to imagine Charlotte without them, but I am excited to spend the next year traveling to visit each of them at school. No way they thought I wouldn't visit!
UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, UNC Charlotte, Clemson, Wake Forest, Davidson, Appalachian State, Elon, Furman, Campbell, Hampton, Spelman, UNC Asheville, UNC Greensboro, Howard, Fisk, North Carolina Central, Hollins, George Mason, Meredith College, Georgia State, Eastern Carolina University, North Carolina A&T, and FAMU
Brown, Duke, Chapel Hill, George Washington
Now, on to the decision making. Oh, I also thought if the girls read this, they would appreciate the throwback to spring 2007 (yes, eight years ago) when I decided to attend Clemson after visiting for the first time. Pretty sure this was taken in line at Ben & Jerry's. Also not sure why I ever thought I could pull of camo.