To those high school seniors preparing for college in the fall, knee-deep in the college application/waiting for answers process:
You may get into the school of your choice. Or you may not.
You may get into some or all of the schools where you’ve applied. You may also not get into any of the schools where you’ve applied.
You may end up going to your top choice — and being miserable for the duration you’re there (that happened for me!). You could also have an amazing experience (this happened for classmates).
You could end up at a different school that was never even on your list — and it could turn out to be a great fit.
You may also end up doing something entirely different for a year or two, something that was never part of your plans (and maybe you wonder if something is wrong with you because the college application process hasn’t gone as you’d planned).
Here’s the thing: Wherever you end up, whatever you do, it’s the perfect place for you to take your next step. Because it’s where you are.
As much as pictures and stories may show a linear path to success, or it seems like everyone around you is making progress according to their “do this for a good life” plan, life isn’t linear nor is it tidy.
Life is messy — for everyone. (Including the friend who always seems to have it all together — he/she is a mess sometimes too.)
The now may seem iffy, icky, disappointing, exciting, or confusing. (And however you feel is absolutely fine — because it’s how you feel.) You may have no idea what to do next.
You may have your plan and goals, and work your plan and goals. Things may move along without a hitch — and then you hit a bump and everything falls apart.
You may have your plan and goals, and find yourself struggling to get started in any direction.
However it turns out, things always work out in the long run. Always.
If the now is unclear, things are still in progress. If we could step back and look at the big picture of our lives, we’d see that each twist, turn, and bump resulted in a new opportunity to learn and grow and create an even more amazing life that we love (and our lives may look different — because what makes each of us truly happy is different).
Don’t be afraid of the twists, turns, and bumps. They’re part of the ride.
Your worth as a human is not defined by what school you attend nor when/if you attend (nor is your worth defined by any job, award, or accolade). You are inherently worthy and have been since day one. Nothing will make you more or less worthy — you simply are. (And so is everyone else.)
You are doing fine in life, exactly where you are right now. And however the college application process turns out? It will be okay.