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Baker-Berry Tower

If you've been reading my brilliant fellow bloggers' posts, you'll know campus is beginning to open up. However, colleges across the country aren't back to complete normalcy, with tours, visits, and supplementary programs being approached very carefully and sometimes, due to changing COVID mandates, cancelled altogether. 

In this time of watching the world just start to open up again, the idea of moving away to college may seem preposterous. But it isn't. In fact, students of your year will almost certainly understand, better than the rest of us, the importance of connecting with others to reach greater goals. Which is pretty amazing. 

With college decision letters on the horizon, I'd like to give you some of my own advice. Though it was collected two years ago, I generally believe advice has no expiration date. Here's how I spent the week leading up to "decisions day:" Going to school. Laughing with friends. Probably walking the dog. After so many hours spent studying for standardized tests, writing and revising (and rewriting and re-revising) essays, and preparing for and attending interviews, I had well and truly accepted that college decisions were out of my type-sore hands.

Maybe this sounds awfully boring. But I promise that's how I felt. 

Until decisions day. 

Suddenly, I was clammy and unsettled. I could hardly focus on my schoolwork. I was trying to work out, exactly, how one determines whether a decisions letter is promisingly thick or disappointingly thin when they are, after all, virtual. All this even though I thought I was far past that particular level of will-they-won't-they which tempted me to pluck petals from a dandelion in circular fashion until the little plant revealed my academic fate. It really did feel like a storm, a mental maelstrom that I (and all my peers) plucked from thin air and attended to with diligent panic. 

This waterfall is in Woodstock, VT, a beautiful nearby town. (It's also an apt metaphor for the emotional tumult of decisions week!)

Yikes. Just know that I take into account the stress you may be feeling which connects us all across space and time, because that's a hallmark of the college process. 

Of course, I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten that yes from my dream school. But looking back, the general terror and excitement of the whole college process hasn't changed. My advice is to look for the calm in that storm. Have fun with it! You, the student reading this, have worked so hard to get where you are and are already so impressive. Don't forget that!

Two years out, and I'm studying distant stars, looking into space so distant it's illuminated by ancient light that is only just now reaching our eyes. I feel a little bit like one of those stars, able to run on ahead and shout back in the form of this blog post to remind you: this exciting! You are brilliant! 

Do bear that in mind throughout this process. We're all cheering for you!


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