College Prep: Embracing Uncertainty

As a former university admissions director, I can say with certainty that the personal statement has the most weight in the tipping the scale for your child getting admitted to their top choice. Grades, within reason, are fixed. Test scores and recommendation letters reveal privilege, not talent, and the level of participation in extracurricular activities seems to have no end.

In this time of social distancing, homeschool, and a real sense of uncertainty, your child might be stressing about the present and concerned about the future.

In leading Blend’s College Prep Offering, a common application essay comes to mind…

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Social distancing and being outside of the school environment has our disrupted lives, and we see the economy and education system turned upside down. We see a “2020 is cancelled” mentality that is the equivalent of putting one’s head in the sand, and others trying to make the most of what is available in terms of learning and plain old human connection.

Now more than ever, it is critical for students to consider what it means to be up against huge challenges, and to strategize how they would or will overcome them. Anxiety, depression, and anger are real feelings that must be addressed, and avoidance is also an option. But after some binge-watching and binge-eating, we have to remember what we can control, and how we make our choices.

Here is an exercise for your student, and it will only take a few minutes.

Write responses to the following questions:

  1. What are my goals between now and the end of the academic year?

  2. What resources are available to me?

  3. Who can I go to for help when I get stuck?

  4. How will I help my family and support my community during this time?

  5. How can I feel joy each day?

These are simple but complex questions that will help your child reconsider their goals, remember they are not alone, and consider their role in helping others. Last, we all deserve joy in our lives, and the opportunity to learn and grow.

Wishing you good health, and hope to connect soon.

- Jesse

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