Col­lege re­jec­tion can be dif­fi­cult for high school se­niors

North Penn Life - - OPINION -

It’s that time of year again, when col­leges and univer­si­ties all over the coun­try de­cide who will be given a cov­eted spot in their in­com­ing fresh­man class.

For high school se­niors, this is of­ten the cul­mi­na­tion of sev­eral long years of chal­leng­ing course­work and SAT prepa­ra­tion, not to men­tion the hours spent work­ing on col­lege ap­pli­ca­tions and find­ing an in­trigu­ing idea for an es­say.

It is the topic that of­ten dom­i­nates con­ver­sa­tions be­tween par­ents, and it can fos­ter ten­sion and com­pet­i­tive­ness among stu­dents and their friends. To make mat­ters worse, the drama of the col­lege ac­cep­tance process has been height­ened with the ad­vent of tech­nol­ogy. Most stu­dents log in at a des­ig­nated time and learn about their fu­ture on­line in­stead of by run­ning to Whe PDLObox, hoSLnJ IoU that thick en­ve­lope.

, n WhLV DJe oI WexW PeVsag­ing and Face­book, news trav­els within min­uWeV. ( ven LI D VWuGenW doesn’t post an ac­cep­tance, it is un­der­stood by the im­me­di­ate world that they didn’t make the cut. There is no longer any pri­vacy to deal with the painful feel­ings of re­jec­tion that of­ten re­sult from a dis­ap­point­ing out­come.

ReDFWLonV Wo col­lege re­jec­tions vary widely and de­pend upon var­i­ous fac­tors in­clud­ing self­eVWeeP, IOexLbLOity and re­silience, over­all men­tal health as well as the re­sponse of par­ents.

For stu­dents whose self- worth rests heavLOy uSon exWeUnDO IDFWoUV such as achieve­ment, a re­jec­tion let­ter can be a blow that is dif­fi­cult to bear.

Many par­ents find that their own feel­ings of dis­ap­point­ment can be quite in­tense and can make it dif­fi­cult to re­main ra­tio­nal and ob­jec­tive dur­ing this try­ing time.

In some cases, a par­ent may per­son­al­ize the de­ci­sion of the ad­mis­sions com­mit­tee and view it as ev­i­dence of not do­ing a good enough job in pro­vid­ing their child with the tools for success.

While dis­ap­point­ments are in­evitable in the process of ap­ply­ing to col­leges, there are some guide­lines that can help stu­dents and their par­ents more ef­fec­tively nav­i­gate this dif­fi­cult time. 1. Stu­dents need to ac­cept the fact that re­jec­tion hurts and that it is per­fectly nor­mal to feel the VDGneVV WhDW WheVe exSeULences may trig­ger.

How­eveU, LW LV LPSoUWDnW to rec­og­nize that col­lege re­jec­tion is not a per­sonal in­dict­ment and that many in­sti­tu­tions are forced to re­ject more stu­dents than they can ac­cept due to the sheer vol­ume of ap­pli­cants.

2. While many stu­dents feel that there is only one school that holds the ticket to a bright and suc­cess­ful fu­ture, there is al­ways more than one path that can be taken to reach a par­tic­u­lar goal. It can be help­ful for stu­dents to make a list of the qual­i­ties that drew them to their top col­lege choice.

Most likely, many of th­ese cri­te­ria can also be found in other col­leges that ac­cepted them, where they could cer­tainly pur­sue their pas­sions and dreams.

3. ais­ap­point­ments in life can be im­por­tant, JUowWh SUoPoWLnJ exSeULences. They can fos­ter re­silience, per­sonal strength and an op­por­tu­nity to bol­ster prob­lem solv­ing skills.

Although feel­ing un­happy about a col­lege re­jec­tion is un­der­stand­able and rea­son­able, it is im­por­tant to move on and fo­cus on whDW’V nexW.

Dr. Caryn Rich­field is a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist prac­tic­ing in Ply­mouth Meet­ing. She can be reached at 610- 238- 4450 or at dr­crich­field@ aol. com.

Cop­ing Dr. Caryn Rich­field

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