Thank you to Ben Small and Kathryn Westrick for writing such wonderful op-ed pieces about “living in the moment,” the craze of the college process and the importance of fully experiencing KO. The College Advising Office could not agree more with the messages of both of these pieces!
The students who do best in the college admission process (meaning they are happiest, least stressed, and comfortable with the outcomes) are those students who have taken the time throughout high school not just asking, “What do colleges want?” but focusing especially on “Why do I do this? What do I love to do? How can I figure out who I am and what makes me happy?”
Those students who spend time understanding why they do what they do and who they are find institutions that aren’t just “good” (which is subjective) but rather are specifically “good for them.”
College is not about where you go; the name of the institution does not equal success in life. It is how you take advantage of the opportunities available to you and how you engage in the community and institution that impacts your experience and, most likely, your outcome.
We know this from having watched over many years students head off to a multitude of different colleges and universities and wind up with excellent, stimulating, rewarding outcomes after earning their degree. A growing body of research supports our position on this question.
Don’t get me wrong…We are excited for a kid who gets into Yale.
We are equally excited for the kid who identified Southern Connecticut as their top school and the student who loves the dance program at Ohio State and the student who is excited to get into UCONN.
Each college and experience is different, not better.
Ultimately, though, the student is the prize, not the other way around.
Lastly, we want to talk about why we are assigning sophomores College to Advisors.
There is a ton of information out there — specialists, tutors, college blogs, insiders’ scoops — so much so that it seems that everyone’s an “expert” in college admission. We also know that people get inundated with this information.
Our goal is to help students and families differentiate what information is necessary and valid.
We believe by having conversations with students earlier, we can help them focus on taking advantage of their KO education and putting the student back in the center of this process (rather than test scores, admission rates, and application essays).
Thanks again, Ben and Kathryn and the rest of the KO News, for helping spread these important messages.
Ms. Silver, Mrs. Clark, Mr. Waldman, and Ms. Elliott