It’s all going to be OK

Parents watching kids go through the college admissions process already know how the story ends.

You don’t know the specifics yet. You don’t know which colleges will say yes or if your kid will hit it off with their future roommate. You don’t know what job your student will hold after college, where they’ll live, or who they’ll marry. Those are the unknowns.

We know that no teen has ever suffered as an adult because of one low grade, test score, or admissions decision in high school. We know that no adult is still smarting over not getting into a dream college when they were 18. We know this. The ride to college may include some bumps, but it’s temporary turbulence on a much longer flight of life. Transcripts, test scores, and college applications eventually recede into high school memories of our much younger selves, often in ways that aren’t reflective of the adults we become.

So please consider this: how would you behave if you knew everything was going to be OK?

Would you wring your hands over 50 points on an SAT exam?

Would you wage academic war with a teacher over a B+ you wished were an A?

Would devastation be an appropriate reaction to a denial from a dream college?

I understand that rationality often goes out the window when it comes to our own kids. The specifics may be uncertain, but deep down, you know it’s all going to be OK when it comes to all-things-college-admissions. And it’s worth reminding yourself of that every now and then.

It’s easier to manage, to accept, and yes, to enjoy when you know it’s all going to be OK.