Parents of seniors, just six months from now, you'll be moving your new college freshman into a dorm room, saying goodbye, and leaving him or her to start their college lives. It will be sad, but it will also be one of the most exciting and rewarding days you'll ever have as a family.
How do you want to spend the next six months leading up to that day?
Do you want it to be a good memory? Do you want your senior's last six months at home to be a time when you celebrated every college acceptance, even from the safety schools? Do you want it to be a time when you reminded your student that you love them anyway even if a dream school said "No"? Do you want to be the parent who excitedly planned a school visit, bought the "_____ University Mom" sweatshirt and proudly slapped the sticker on the back of the car window, even if the school wasn't your kid's first choice (or yours)? And do you want to spend the next six months showing your student just how proud Mom and Dad are, and how excited you are for them in their upcoming journey to college?
Or will you allow colleges and their admissions decisions to dictate how you'll spend the next six months?
Will you be attached to the belief that a "Yes" from a dream school is the only acceptable outcome? If the dream schools' decisions aren't what you'd hoped, do you want to spend the time cursing the schools that said, "No," appealing for reconsideration, and mourning the loss? Will you spend the time comparing your student's credentials to those of other students, worrying and wondering what else could have been done? Do you want the next six months to be stressful and disappointing?
Don't let colleges make the decision for you. All they can say is "Yes" or "No." How your family spends your senior's last six months at home is entirely up to you.