The last few weeks have been a combination of amazing, hysterical, stressful, joyful, and just hard — but then again, that’s humanity. As decisions have rolled out, I’ve loved watching you celebrate and cheer each other on, even as you share your pain and support others through theirs.
I know for many of you, this is it. This is THE week you’ve been waiting for. You might’ve even been waiting for this day — not since December 31 or last fall sometime when you hit submit on your apps, but for years. Still, as I think most of you recognize, some (most) of you are going to be extremely disappointed today, and others (a few) will be over the moon excited. So, I want to tell you how proud I am of each and every one of you. In the last year or so that I’ve been nagging at you to remember to breathe, keep life in perspective, and open your minds about colleges and ECs, I’ve seen such growth. I’ve seen you mature from kids who seemingly only care about prestige, where you get in, and writing obnoxious braggy essays to young adults giving each other truly awesome advice and pieces of wisdom. It has been an amazing process to watch. Your support for each other is real. You all are incredible kids. Please remember that today. And tomorrow. And next week. And next year.
Focus on Gratitude — for just a moment
So, do me a favor. Let’s take the focus off college decisions for just a few minutes. I want each one of you to write to me right now, and for the next few days, or the next week or hell, forever, and tell me three things in your life you’re grateful for. You can respond here or pm me if you’d rather. You come from around the world with so many different circumstances, and I know many of you have struggled with parts of your lives — and because of the difficulties of the last couple of years, more of us than ever are struggling just to get through these days. I’ve heard your stories, read your essays, and even cried for some of you, but today I want to focus on the good stuff. So tell me three things you are thankful for. Big or small.
(Please feel free to respond even if you’re not a senior!)
I’ll go first. In the last few years, I’ve written about being grateful for this subreddit, my love of the blues and music, travel, my crazy amazing kids, and my wonderful mom who supported me in life and decisions even when she disagreed.
Today I’m grateful for:
- My work. I love stories. I’ve been an avid reader for my entire life, and I’ve always loved stories. Reading your stories and my students’ stories gives me a way to do what I love for work, and it couldn’t be a more inspiring, fulfilling way to spend my time. I’ve always loved teaching, but working with applicants as they bring their stories to life takes my teaching to another level.
- Bees. I decided not to mow our grass this spring and let the clover grow. It’s been so fun watching my little community of bees buzzing around and gathering nectar. I sit and watch them and think about where they’re flying back to and wonder how I could possibly get the honey made from my clover!
- Trans Rights Activists, Allies, and Advocates. I’m so bummed (more than bummed) right now about the state of our country and the anti-trans legislation (among lots of other bad legislation) that’s happening in our country. But I’m super grateful for the amazing people who are organizing and putting themselves out there to fight back for trans rights and for families like mine who are being torn apart by this hate-filled legislation.
So now, it’s your turn, and I can’t wait to hear from you. As you’re thinking about what you’re grateful for today, you may find it difficult, and that’s ok. But remember, it can be big or small. I’ve had kids write about chocolate and air conditioning – this isn’t a gratitude competition or the thankful Olympics. An added benefit for you (and everyone) is that research shows that people who take the time to note their gratitude daily are generally happier and more content.
Regardless, remember that no matter the outcomes today or yesterday or tomorrow — whether in your favor or not, you’re more than your college acceptances. They don’t define you. There are just too many amazing beautiful yous out there to fit into this teeny tiny teacup of schools you’ll be hearing back from today, so keep up with that emotional planning during the day. While it’s ok to hope for the best, be prepared for the worst. Hold on to your hearts, and get ready with the ice cream!
tl;dr: Let me know what you’re thankful for in your life! 💙😊