By Patrick Lorenzo
Last week, I presented at a College Information Night for juniors and their families. Yes, we just finished traveling, just started reading and we’re already thinking about next year. It’s that time of the year for juniors and their families to contemplate about their college search. If you haven’t started this is the time to sit, back, and reflect. Yes, reflect, not relax. I’m not saying start booking college visits, go into deep internet research mode, or figure out your major.
What I am saying is to be thoughtful and deliberate about your college admissions process. Begin to ask yourself questions about the kind of schools you want to explore, the types of programs you want to consider, and how you want your family to be involved.
There is no need to etch anything in stone, to finalize criteria, or to settle on any undecided matters. Jot down your notes. Journal your ideas. Ask all kinds of questions. Reflect and repeat.
For the seniors putting the finishing touches on their college applications, please relax when you push the send button. Take a breather. Enjoy the sense of accomplishment. Let the admissions counselors do their work.
Appreciation is the theme of the week. If you haven’t, please send a note of gratitude to your teachers, mentors, and counselors who wrote your recommendation letters. If anyone reviewed your personal statements, show your appreciation. Anyone who has done anything to lighten your load this is a good time to recognize them.
If you haven’t sensed it already this college application process is a community journey. You are not alone. Yes, it’s your grades, your trophies, and your achievements, however, it wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the family, friends, and other supporters lifting you up along the way.
So whether your thinking about how to start your admissions process or relieved it’s done or almost done, remember to take the moment to reflect or relax this week. It’s not about you, it’s about us. Celebrate and be thanksgiving with those surrounding you this week.
(About the Author: #ThickEnvelope is a monthly column that can be read exclusively on AsAmNews. Patrick Gabriel Lorenzo is Associate Director of Admissions at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA and a graduate of both a University of California campus and a regional private college. He has nearly 15 years of experience in higher education spanning public and private institutions. He is a firm believer in access, against the notion of college acceptances being a prize to be won, and promotes the idea of searching colleges from the inside out. Patrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for further questions.)