This is a big philosophy at Collegewise, something that our founder, Kevin, engrained in me right away at training. He talked about how easy it is for students to brush aside the acceptances to their safety and even target schools while they wait to hear from their early decision and reach schools. But every time you get accepted to college, it’s a big deal, regardless of how surprising it is.
Every acceptance to college is an acknowledgment of the effort you’ve devoted to excelling in your classes, the times you chose to stretch yourself in an advanced or honors course, and the wisdom you showed in taking a step back when you needed to. It’s an acknowledgment of the evenings and weekends and summers you spent on the football field or at band practice or working on the school paper. It’s an acknowledgment of the immense vulnerability you’ve shown in your personal statement and the detailed research you’ve completed for each college. It’s an acknowledgment of the years-long relationships you’ve cultivated with teachers and counselors who were willing to spend hours of their personal time crafting letters of recommendation for you. It’s a college inviting you to be a part of their community, not just for the next four years, but for the rest of your life. That’s a big deal and deserves to be celebrated.
The other reason I encourage my students to celebrate every acceptance is because I genuinely believe that they can be happy and successful at every school on their lists. I know that it’s the student that makes their college experience extraordinary, not the university. Research shows that the average freshman retention rate is 72% and 80% for public and private four-year universities, respectively. That’s a good indication that the vast majority of students are happy at the college they decided to attend – reach, target, or safety. So as those acceptances start to arrive, remember to celebrate every single one of them. You earned it.