It’s that time of year again. My team and I are making last minute tweaks to the incoming first-year class.
We’ve spent the past several months reading, re-reading and discussing the applications that many of you reading this blog put hours of preparation into. We have appreciated learning about your academic pursuits, the activities that intrigue you outside of the classroom and the factors that led you to apply to Princeton. We have laughed at your funny anecdotes, cried (yes, cried) over some of the situations you have trusted us enough to share and thought about how you might add to this vibrant community. And now it comes down to your receiving a decision.
You might not believe it, but this is not my favorite part of my job. Don’t get me wrong, I think I have one of the best jobs on this campus – being able to serve my alma mater in a way that introduces her to prospective students around the world. But in this moment, providing decisions that will exhilarate some and devastate others is not my idea of fun.
So, each year, I try to remind ALL applicants that receiving a decision from a college (whether it’s Princeton or some other amazing institution of higher learning) should not make or break you. If you receive positive news, that’s excellent! Celebrate, decide if it’s the place you can see yourself learning and growing inside and outside of the classroom and base your decision on whether or not to enroll on whether or not the school is a fit for you academically, socially and financially.
If you receive not-so positive news, know that one school’s decision does not indicate anything about your ability to be successful in college. I can only speak for Princeton, but each year we receive applications from many more highly qualified students than we could possibly admit. And, each year we have to say no to many of those same students. I realize that doesn’t take the sting out of receiving anything other than an admit. Still, I hope that you will not let the received decision keep you down. Rather, take a minute to absorb it, and then regroup and put your efforts into your senior year activities. Importantly, remember to enjoy the remainder of your high school senior year, as making those memories are as important as figuring out the next phase of your life.
Whatever decision you receive from Princeton or any other college or university you have applied to, please know that we have enjoyed getting to know you. Your story is unique to you and important. And whatever campus community is allowed to benefit from your presence will be all the better for it.
Good luck with this next adventure!