by Janet Durgin, Head of School
December is traditionally a time for looking back—reflecting on choices made, opportunities taken, and goals achieved over the past year. For those seniors who applied "early decision," it’s also a time to look ahead, as they begin to hear admissions decisions from their top-choice colleges. Gone are the days of waiting at the mailbox for the telltale fat and thin envelopes; now, our students hunch over their phone screens, waiting tensely to see whether their email begins with “Congratulations!” or “We regret to inform you….”
For some, these results feel like a dream come true. The future seems to fall into place before their eyes in a montage worthy of a Hollywood movie: the right school, the right career, the right path to adulthood and success. They can even picture what they might be wearing on the first day of class! For others, there is the sense that a dream has died. What now? they wonder gloomily, looking into a future that has suddenly become enshrouded in a fog of uncertainty... to say nothing of needing to complete new applications when they'd hoped to be finished with all that.
Those of us who have been down these paths a time or two know the truth: neither the “congratulations” nor the “we regret” determines destiny. There is no one ideal school for any student, and there is no single path to fulfillment. Some of the places that looked like a perfect fit will turn out to be rather itchy when tried on; some places that looked not at all right on the hanger turn out to be the most comfortable in the end.
In our college counseling program, we strive to help our seniors find a variety of colleges that will be good matches for them as students and as people. And beyond that, throughout their years at SA, we try to teach every student that the path to success isn’t determined by where you come from or the brand of your clothing or the cachet of the name on your diploma. Success is not a single destination; it is relentless curiosity, dogged dedication, honor, compassion, and responsibility. In short, it is a life well lived. That is possible for all of our students to achieve, no matter where they end up matriculating.