Previously I posted a love note/reality check for our high school seniors who are currently in the college application process. Today, I offer thoughts for us parents.
To us parents of high school seniors preparing for college in the fall, knee-deep in the college application/waiting for answers process:
Our child may get into the school of his/her/our choice. Or not.
Our child may get into some or all of the schools where they’ve applied — or not. (And we may or may not agree with the schools where our child has applied!)
Our child could end up at a different school that was never even on the list — and it could turn out to be a great fit.
Our child may also end up doing something entirely different for a year or two, something that was never part of anyone’s plans (and maybe you wonder if something is wrong with you or them because the college application process hasn’t gone as you’d planned).
Here’s the thing: Wherever your child ends up, whatever they do, it’s the perfect place to take the next step. Because it’s where your child is.
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; the same goes for your child.) You may have no idea what to do next; your kid may have no idea either.
However it turns out, things always work out in the long run. Always.
And things may turn out differently than you’d plan or like. Your child is their own person and may do things differently. It’s okay.
There is no one way to do life.
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 and your child’s worth as a human is not defined by what school he or she attends nor when/if they attend (nor is anyone’s worth defined by a job, award, or accolade). We are all inherently worthy and have been since day one. Nothing will make us more or less worthy — we simply are. (And so is everyone else.)
Your child is doing fine in life, exactly where she/he is right now (and same for you!). However the college application process turns out? It will be okay.