College Counseling Blog

Welcome to the College Counseling Blog by Chris Teare, Director of College Counseling, and Russell Althouse, Associate Director of College Counseling.

 

Persevere and Be Kind

September is always a busy time in a college counseling office, because students know some universities are already encouraging applications, and the first major wave of deadlines will arrive November 1. In short, there’s a lot to do between now and Halloween.

One exciting aspect of the next two months is how many colleges and universities will send representatives to visit us here at Wardlaw+Hartridge. At present, 105 institutions have scheduled meetings, and we’re in communication with others who may be able to meet with our students. Juniors and seniors who are interested in particular colleges — or are still trying to learn about their options — are guided through a process of identifying which visits to attend and how to sign up for these opportunities.

In part to invite representatives to our campus, also to represent Wardlaw+Hartridge in general, and sometimes to advocate for individual students in particular, college counselors Chris Teare and Russ Althouse visited two dozen campuses in June, July and August. The summer is a great time for us to make visits, because representatives who are in the office have time to talk. They’re not on the road recruiting or behind closed doors reading applications as they are much of the rest of the year.  

Colleges and universities we visited this summer were Babson, Bentley, Boston College, Boston University, Bowdoin, Brandeis, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Connecticut College, Cornell, Dartmouth, Hamilton, Ithaca, MIT, Northeastern, Providence, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart, Syracuse, Tufts, Union and Yale. In addition to campuses, we’ll soon be off to the annual conference of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, where thousands of college admissions officers from around the world will be available for more conversations about Wardlaw+Hartridge and our excellent students 

A few final thoughts for now: Head of School Andrew Webster did a masterful job at our opening Convocation by asking students of all grade levels to raise their hands and offer words to live by for our school year together. Among many wonderful observations, my personal favorites were when younger students raised their hands and offered the words, “Perseverance” and “Be Kind.”

On the first, the college process requires all sorts of qualities of students and parents. Among them is the ability to persevere through coursework, standardized testing, application and essay writing, financial aid applications, and sometimes disappointment — all leading toward our shared goal of the best possible college fit at the best possible price. “Grit” is a word that also captures this quality. I say to all involved: Hang in There. We’re in this Together.

Regarding kindness, the college admissions Varsity Blues scandal and the awful experience at Sidwell Friends, a Quaker school where parents denigrated other people’s children, calls to our attention that the legitimate stresses of this process will test us in moments of anxiety and frustration. If we can all remember to treat our children, their friends, our teachers, and college admissions officers with kindness, we will all be better in the end. Whenever you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the college process, or you simply have questions, please call or email us to talk, perhaps by setting up appointment. Always remember: Never Worry Alone. Call for back up. We’re here to partner with you throughout this process.

Here’s to having a great year together. Whenever we can help you help your child, be in touch. 

Posted by cteare on Wednesday September, 11, 2019 at 02:48PM

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The Wardlaw-Hartridge School
1295 Inman Ave,
Edison, NJ 08820
(908) 754-1882
The Wardlaw + Hartridge School is a top private and college prep school in Edison, New Jersey, which provides an independent, pioneering educational experience at the early childhood, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school levels.
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