Finding the right fit in a college

young college studentThe process of getting my son ready for college seemed to start as soon as he entered kindergarten. The teacher-parent back to school meetings always had the same tone…we are preparing the students for the next level of academic achievements. He did very well participating in the Accelerated Program offered to Gifted and Talented children throughout his first eight years and continued to do well in high school, being inducted into the Honor Society and achieving the Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar award. He was a captain of his basketball and baseball teams. He achieved a 1320 out of 1600 on his SAT scores and in hindsight my regret was not enrolling him in a SAT preparation course that would have, I’m sure, increased his SAT score. The college acceptance process is so competitive and definitely counts in the selection.

The guidance counselor assisted my son in the college selection process and her advice was to go for two “far” reach schools and add three safety schools. My son always dreamed of going to an ivy league school, even wore their logo clothes. This was the school he had always dreamed of attending although it would be considered a “far” reach school as the entry process was very competitive. Having a great uncle who financed one of the school’s centers and having a strong recommendation letter from his uncle who also attended, seemed like a way to give him an edge.

However, the rejection letter from this school left my son devastated. He took the rejection very personally. I found him crying on his bed believing that everything he did was for naught and all the work he did for the last 12 years just wasn’t enough. And, “Mom, I worked so hard…what did I do wrong?” It was heart breaking to hear the whys and why nots. All I could do was comfort him and tell him everything he did was not in vain. His second choice for an ivy league school was answered with a “wait list.” Wait until July to find out if and when you were selected.

application-processAll the other colleges were acceptances. The State University would have been a free ride but my son wanted his independence and living in the same state did not seem like going away to college. We visited a school in Pennsylvania with high hopes of attending but came away disappointed with the campus.

The next school was located in Maryland and when we took our first few steps into the campus we knew that this was the right school for my son. We attended the open house and were so pleased with the campus and the faculty we knew this was it. On the way home he said that he was not going to push the wait listed school and accept his invitation to go to this school. He seemed genuinely happy about his decision and so was I.

We were very fortunate to find a school that we both knew was a right fit. He sent his acceptance letter in and signed up for the freshman weekend. The rest is history….he is now a senior and is on the dean’s list with a major in biology focusing on the dentistry field. He has taken his DATs and we are awaiting replies from prospective dental schools.


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