There’s an article on “The Huffington Post” by Hilary Levey Friedman about whether or not parents are prepared should their child be rejected from the college of their dreams. What will they say to their child who had dreams of attending Princeton but didn’t even make the waitlist? What will they say to their child who had dreamed of studying in Manhattan on Columbia’s iconic campus? What will they say to their child who worked so hard for so many years in the hope of getting into one of the best universities in the country…only to fail to do so? Parents should be prepared for these outcomes as the vast majority of students applying to highly selective colleges don’t get into their first choice college (hey, what can we say, the majority of college applicants aren’t clients of Ivy Coach).
We’re not here to give parenting advice but the best strategy is likely to be supportive of your child, to help convince them that one or many of the schools that they did gain admission to can indeed by a college or colleges or their dreams as well. They just have to check it out some more, get to know some students who go there, take a look at the beautiful campus, and get excited about all of the academic, athletic, and social opportunities at the school(s). Just because this school may not have been an initial dream school doesn’t mean it can’t become the dream school through the backdoor.
Ms. Friedman writes about how basically not every child is a winner, how there’s only one spot at the top of the podium, and how parents need to help their children come to terms with wherever they end up placing — in college admissions and in life. College admissions, after all, is a cutthroat process but so too is the job market. If you don’t achieve your dream job right away, there are other opportunities out there. And maybe the new path you choose will lead to a new dream job. Or maybe it too will lead to the old dream job. College rejection is, in this way, a great microcosm of the real world.
While you’re here, parents, check out this video on parental stress in the college admissions process.