College Counseling Blog
Welcome to the College Counseling Blog by Chris Teare, Director of College Counseling, and Russell Althouse, Associate Director of College Counseling.
A Fond Farewell
When I was a senior at a small private school not too far from W+H, I had no college counselor, no college counseling classes, no college programs for families and no college reps coming in to visit. We only had my headmaster who asked each of us where we were considering applying, to which he either nodded approvingly or not. The college application process was simple then - complete a separate application for each college and an essay, all on a paper application that I typed. Common App was not used then, even though it existed. I applied to four colleges, knowing which ones I’d get into and which ones I wouldn’t, and that is exactly what happened.
When my children applied between 1989 and 1998, it was certainly more competitive than when I applied, but less so than it is now, and everything was still paper. My first job as a college counselor was in 2000 at an all-girls Catholic school. I taught college counseling classes to freshmen, juniors and seniors. We did not have the internet to use for research or to send student documents to colleges. I was not even able to get emails at school. Now part of that was the school, as I was able to send and receive emails and access the internet from home. Students were still using paper until I came to Wardlaw-Hartridge.
Like many of our students, I have loved my time at Wardlaw-Hartridge, beginning as a parent with the enrollment of my oldest child in first grade, shortly after the merger of our two schools. Kevin looked forward to each advancing year with anticipation. Every school year brought new friends, more knowledge and additional experiences to help him become a better version of himself.
No matter when our students begin at W+H, they will undergo similar events as my son, even though he started here a couple of decades earlier. Boys then had to wear jackets and ties as part of their uniform starting in third grade, detention meant helping the maintenance staff with physical labor around the school’s property, perhaps raking leaves or picking up trash. Research papers were typed on an actual typewriter. For students today, it means a personally modified uniform, doing homework while sitting down in a classroom and papers written on a computer with the ability to cut and paste, spell check and research on the internet instead of books at the library. It’s all part of the natural evolution of progress.
Our seniors will be graduating soon from W+H and beginning their own new adventures in new places with many more new friends. Just like our graduating seniors, I too will be departing W+H and plan to have many new adventures of my own. And just like to word commencement means a new start, my retirement may be a closing of one door, but it is also a new beginning. None of us will forget all we are taking from here, the knowledge, the friends and the memories. Our lives have been enriched by all of the faculty, students and staff, each of whom have enhanced our own lives. I plan to look back on my time here and will consider a quote often attributed to Dr. Seuss as my source of inspiration, “Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.” Another favorite of mine from Dr. Seuss’s book, Oh the Places You’ll Go, and one that I hope we can all use as inspiration is, “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting so…Get on your way!” I wish only the best to all of our seniors as they take the first step toward their own mountain. And to all of the wonderful people with whom I have had the opportunity to work with over my time here, thank you.
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