My D is obsessed with one school! Anyone else go through this?

My D is obsessed with one school, she says she just sees herself there AND we have not even visited yet! We are visiting Columbus Day weekend for their open house and seeing their show. Hopefully a theater tour as well.

She is aware of their academic and artistic selectivity but is not deterred. I am thrilled that she is excited about a school and I am praying the visit does not disappoint but more importantly I am praying she gets in.
My older D had a heartbreak when she didnt get in her dream school( which turned out to be a blessing) but it was awful to go through the rejection.

Anyone else in this boat or go through this in the past?

Kind of. Visited WashU early in our search before learning that they were skimpy with merit aid and will most likely be unaffordable. We were all disappointed. Better work with her to get several affordable backups that she likes.

No matter what their major, most students will have a top choice of schools that they hope to get in. I always recommend people apply (and in the case of MTs audition) to their top choice assuming it is ok with their parents. Somebody is going to get in. It might as well be you!
However, it is also important students have realistic expectations and alternative choices if for some reason the top choice does not pan out. As far as expectations, make sure they understand the likelihood of acceptance. For most MT programs, that is less than 10%. Make sure they know if for some reason they don’t get in, neither did 90% of the other applicants. There is no shame in not getting in an MT program. It is hard. It still hurts. But it can help to know you have lots of company!
If possible, I would figure schools for your D are “next in line” after her top choice. Talk them up and make her like them too. She may not like them as much as her top choice, but if she doesn’t get in her top choice, you still want her to have choices she feels pretty good about. If you can visit them, do so. She may find a campus or program she loves even more when seeing it in person.
Also, try to talk to her about keeping her options open to surprises. There are all sorts of stories on CC of students who end up in programs that had not originally been on their list - but they are deliriously happy with where they ended up. Keeping an open mind is really important. Doesn’t mean you can’t have a top choice. But you need to understand the likelihood of getting in (very small for all applicants) and have a positive attitude towards whatever schools you apply to that do accept you.
Having specific choices is really tough with MT. The process is just so subjective. I’m afraid there is no real way to predict outcomes or protect our precious children from heartbreak if they don’t get in their top choice. If that happens, as you know it is going to hurt for a little bit. But having other options you feel good about can help. For MTs that sting it is a good life lesson in how to handle rejection. It is not something we wish for them, but if they stay in theatre, it is going to be something they deal with quite frequently. And sometimes, I think they handle the rejections far better than we parents do.
I hope your D finds just where she is meant to be. Good luck in the application and audition process!

Yes, we went through it. My daughter’s dream school was Pace MT. It was the one school that when she visited, she had that complete sense of “I totally see myself here.” She got First Alternate (which meant that she was in if her doppelgänger turned them down), but in the end, no cigar. All I can say is, do EVERYTHING in your power to get this out of your child’s head. I wish I had done that, but honestly, not sure how you can. Remind her that no matter what they say to her and no matter how well her audition goes, nothing is a given. And remind her of the crazy low admission rates at all these schools. And connect with people at other schools. Spend time at them if you can. We had never even visited Montclair when my daughter got in there, and I regret that. Being so high on the WL at Pace made it even more difficult to engage her in choosing another school because she kept thinking she’d come off. And there was never closure: after the initial “Congratulations! You’re a First Alternate!” letter there was never a follow up saying that it was over, though they told us there would be. It made what should have been a really happy time of choosing from her great acceptances pretty agonizing. Eventually after 2 visits to Montclair and connecting with kids and faculty there, she said she wouldn’t accept Pace even if they called, but but it was a long road getting there.

It’s a process for them - she may get to the dream school for a visit and change her mind, enlarge her dream.

Absolutely! The dream needs to be to get into ANY of these programs! It is very hard for a high school kid to grasp these odds.

You need to keep plugging the idea that it isn’t a dream school if you can’t get in or can’t afford it. The goal is to build a list of schools where she could be happy. But there are always going to be trade offs, no school is perfect. I’d keep plugging this message. Maybe as her GC to help get it across, too?

@vvnstar Such wise words! She was looking at their recent booklet and each page she was like,Yep, Yep, Yep…It;s so funny how they just feel a school is a fit. I have a feeling when we visit JMU in two weeks it will only increase her love because I hear it is beautiful. And I agree, I am hoping there are a couple that she feels ok about just in case. By beginning of December we will have visited all on her list so maybe there will be another that she will be excited about too.

@Calliene I know from our previous conversations how happy your daughter is at Montclair, so it is comforting to hear that she went through this too. That First Alternate thing must have been a killer! Giving hope when decisions have to be made. I still want her to visit Montclair even though it is not a BA,bc it is so close to home and the city. I will let you know if we are going and perhaps your daughter can meet us.
She is working really hard to prepare for JMU audition which is not until January so she has time to do others and get the wrinkles out a bit. Lots of praying will be going on!!!

Yes - and all these wise posters before me have covered it. …and the postscript is - while she didn’t get into her “dream” school - I think now, as she is a month into her sophomore year, she wouldn’t trade where she is for there for anything. Her current school IS her dream school now… just wasn’t throughout her senior year of HS!

@kategrizz Thank you! That is encouraging and reassuring to hear. I know she will end up where she is meant to be, but if she does not get in her dream school those words wont make the “no” hurt any less for a while.

I am trying to avoid this happening with my D , hoping she doesn’t get fixated on one school. We are visiting 3 schools this next month so betting one might get knocked out of the list or maybe not . We are not visiting any schools that are reach schools as those ones she’ll be focused on I’m sure and they are such a gamble. @Joyfulmama if your D I focused on JMU I can see why, that is a nice area and the program is so highly regarded it seems. Good luck on your visit! I love that town.

Rejections are going to hurt. D didn’t have a dream school - she knew from watching the classes that were ahead of her at her PA HS that everyone gets rejections and she watched lots of tears in the hallways and backstage as dreams were crushed in March and April every year. She knew some really talented and well-prepared kids with scads of training and experience that got zero acceptances to audition-based programs.

However, even with this experience, d’s first couple of rejections really hurt - watching and thinking you are prepared is one thing, see the first couple of “we didn’t pick you” letters is quite another (especially since some of the rejection letters could stand much better wording). I think what bothered d a lot was her first rejection was not passing a prescreen for a school that she thought was a very solid fit for her and looked to be somewhat less competitive than other schools. Not even passing the prescreen was kind of a blow to her ego, and I think she was worried that, “if I didn’t even pass the prescreen for this school, will I get in anywhere?” Honestly, I would hate to think what it would have been like if she had become very attached to a particular school. However, she did recover quickly, and the experience really added to her overall maturity. It helped a lot to have some early acceptances that did come in shortly after the first round of rejections. By the end of the process she was a hardened veteran and had taken one more step toward the reality of life as a professional actor.

She did have one school at the top of her list early in the process that ended up being a disappointment at the on-campus audition, so it can definitely be the case that reality is different than the brochure and the recruiting meetings.

She absolutely loves where she ended up and she is very proud to have survived the process.

Gosh yes, my S had been going to football games at Northwestern since he was about four and had several family members who were alums there. So say it was his first choice is an understatement. His senior picture was one of him standing by the lakefront on the NU campus. He applied ED and got rejected…a really terrible weekend just before Christmas and then he said, “Mom, if I can’t get into NU with my 3.8-ish GPA, over 2000 SATs and extra-curriculars, I need to apply to more audition schools.” So we did. Huge left turn. He did a LOT better auditioning than with BA schools. Worked out okay in the end.

My D did have a dream school since before she was in HS. Through acting she had met several actors who she looked up to who had attended this program. No matter what we said, she insisted she would do anything to get into this school. When it came time to audition/apply, at least she did come up with a list of other schools but was still set on this school. In the end she was accepted with enough money to make it affordable, and she attended. Guess what?- she hated it, it was not a good fit, and she left after one semester. I don’t think she had ever looked at the program with an open mind about what features were really important to her. It was nothing like what she had imagined. Fortunately for her, she was able to later re-audition for schools and ended up at a perfect fit for her. I don’t know what we could have done differently. We made sure to take her to look at a variety of programs, we set cost limits for what we could afford, she did sample lessons with instructors, etc. This had been her dream school for so long that she was not objective.

My daughter got into her dream school off the wait list and ended up choosing her safety school…you just never know with these artists :stuck_out_tongue:

Wow thanks everyone for sharing your experiences, its nice to know you are not alone in this process! My D is not a great decision-maker that is why I am so surprised by her strong feelings for this school and also why I am praying she gets in.She is typically a “yeah thats nice, yeah that ones nice too” type of kid. I guess we will see if she still feels as strongly after our visit and watching their musical. I really do want her to have a favorite, I think its great to have that “I see myself here” feeling, just will make the no so much harder, but I will put only positive vibes out there!! :slight_smile:

@theaterwork Good luck with your visits too and so great to hear about JMU & its area.I will let oyu know how the visit goes.:slight_smile:

@EmsDad I have heard from others too that the wording of rejections should be revamped, getting a no is hard enough without insensitive wording. So glad your D is happy at her final decision!

@Jkellynh17 Oh boy that must have stung something awful!!! It sounds like it always works out in the end but its the part right at the rejections that are hard to get through.

@takeitallin What a lesson for all of us and our kids. Being there could be something completely different than what the imagination creates.

oh boy these kids…@bisouu !! lol

So… no, you really don’t want her to have a favorite. Having one favorite is such a recipe for trouble in the search process. She might not get in. You might not be able to afford it. She might stop looking hard at other schools, and not like any of the choices she does have. She might get accepted, go to accepted student visits, and realize it isn’t “all that” after all (my kid discovered that about her top 2 preferred schools at accepted student visits, and is now super happy at #3 on her initial list).

As a parent, you are just asking for trouble to encourage picking a favorite. The idea is to help them find a safety, some matches, and a few reaches that they really like, so they have options in the spring when they really have to decide.

@intparent She is happy with all the schools on her short list, but is in love with one. Perhaps the auditioning process will change some of those likes to loves too, we shall see. My D was very careful about what she put on her list, he is very comfortable with it and feels she would be happy at any of them. That said she just feels this particular one is meant for her. Long process ahead…

It is a long process- and I agree with everyone above that you want to fight the “one perfect” school ideology. But you (and D) may be surprised how much visits and the audition process shake things up. Visits were game changers for my kid, creating significant adjustments in her idea of and ranking of the schools on the final list. Auditions continued the fine tuning (who was warm/cold, organized/chaotic) and accepted student viisits sealed the deal

Btw- we had a bit of a reverse process. D dreamed about NYU for years- I was the one who said “no” to college in New York for a very long time. The process sold me - In the end I could see that it was right right place for her