Over the last year, I have found that the practice of yoga has been a positive addition to my life, both for the physical benefits and the meditative or mental benefits. There is one refrain heard often in class, which seems to be especially applicable to the college process this time of year: "just breathe." As if we could neglect this fundamental necessity of our health and well-being, when I first began practicing, I scoffed at this seemingly ridiculous reminder, thinking to myself that this was somewhat of a "no-brainer." I soon realized, however, that in my effort to resist toppling over in a pretzeled mess, I was indeed disregarding my breath. Trying desperately to maintain my balance, I was overlooking the most important factor in restoring this equilibrium.
This lesson is equally important for students and families as they approach different stages of the college process. It is easy to get so distracted by the details and hype surrounding college admission that soon any sense of perspective has disappeared. Seniors have spent many months focused on researching, visiting, and applying to college, all the while trying to remain focused on their academic work, take standardized tests, and continue their participation in activities and sports. Maybe even maintain a friendship or two and spend time with family!
With applications all submitted and decisions now pending in admission offices, January and February bring an opportunity to step back and breathe. It is not unusual for students to have become so excited about one or two colleges that it seems as though all will be lost if they are not granted admission. While ideally these dreams will be realized (and we in the college office do all we can to advocate for such joyous outcomes), the reality is that there will be disappointments. In fact, even if admitted, a student's top choice of colleges might not end up being the perfect fit they once imagined it would be. This is where the breathing comes in. It becomes difficult for seniors to await decision letters during the long, cold winter months, but it is important to remember that there is no one right path and that the college process is one of self-discovery and growth. When we get focused so narrowly on one outcome and forget to breathe, that is when we run the risk of losing that crucial balance.
This weekend the junior class will officially begin the college process. Again, the perfect opportunity to "just breathe." It is easy to get caught up in the buzz and the idea that the college admission process must be overwhelming and full of pressure and stress. Do not buy it! There are many months between now and when the class of 2013 will need to submit their first application. This is why we plan ahead and start discussing college when we do. Rather than fear the process and approach it with anxiety, I encourage students and families to embrace this exciting time and take advantage of the opportunities for self-reflection, dreaming, laughing, and learning. A few deep breaths will help keep this all in perspective and preserve relationships, sanity, and the fact that there is only one chance to do high school, so it is important to stay in the moment while thoughtfully looking ahead. Namaste.
Director of College Counseling
Congratulations to members of the class of 2012 who have already been admitted to the following schools. We will update this list each month and post a final list in June with students' names and the school in which they have enrolled.
The University of Arizona
Case Western Reserve University
University of Central Florida
College of Charleston
Coastal Carolina University
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Connecticut
Cornell University (College of Engineering)
University of Denver
Eastern Nazarene College
Emory University (Emory College)
Florida Institute of Technology
Georgia Institute of Technology
High Point University
College of the Holy Cross
Indiana University at Bloomington
Johns Hopkins University
University of New Hampshire
New York University
Northwestern University (Arts & Sciences)
Pace University, New York City
Pennsylvania State University, University Park (Schreyer Honors College)
Rochester Institute of Technology
Roger Williams University
Saint Michael's College
Southern New Hampshire University
St. Lawrence University
Syracuse University (School of Architecture)
The University of Tampa
The Hartt School, University of Hartford
University of Vermont
University of West Florida
Worcester Polytechnic Institute