mini~ While you are absolutely correct here, this IS a college site, after all, and within THAT context, getting either waitlisted or rejected from EVERY school on your list <em>IS</em> one of the worst things that can happen! And do remember that andison was an extremely TOP student, NMF, and exceedingly gifted pianist…this was MOST unexpected. :eek:
This is an excellent point, andi, and one I’m glad that you stressed because I think that sometimes people can be very quick to overgeneralize from one specific situation. Andison’s determination, commitment, and perpetual optimism throughout a most difficult time DID pay off–and BEAUTIFULLY–for him, but as you and I both know, it can turn out very differently for different folks, despite their best efforts.
andi~ Thanks for this…it was, of course, a great honor for ME to be there for YOU. <3 <3 <3
Yes mini I do realize that - didn’t mean to over-emphasize the poignancy of the situation. As Berurah said, I meant it withing the context of a college applications web site. I know you’re a writer so you most likely could have come up with something more effective but this was the best I could do. I wanted to point out that this was just the scenario of ‘one’ kid and that I’m not an omniscient college counselor. Readers can take what they want from the story.
Andi – My name is georgemma and I am a cc addict . . . well, you get the idea. Since I only started coming to this site in March, I was not aware of all of the details of your son’s past year. Thank you for letting us know about his gap year and the wonderful outcome. By the way, I appreciate your comments a propos of my daughter’s acceptances and rejections. She decided upon Wellesley and seems quite confident that it is the right choice for her. Congratulations to you and your son!
Awwwww thanks Thumper. I couldn’t have better company
Georgemma I’m glad to hear that your d worked out her decision and feels good about it. I hope she has a great year. She can give water and oranges to the Boston Marathon runners who pass by each April.
I am also new to CC. I read every word of your son’s moving story. I’ve learned so much from this parent forum, especially that there is a right fit for every student if they are willing to open their minds to what is out there. I didn’t mention this before but for the last few years I had two safety schools in mind for my son. One was my alma mater, which I knew had a high GPA but was also reasonable about taking legacies. The other was a special LAC that had a reputation of looking beyond grades at the whole student. Since that time, both schools have become almost unreachable for any but a 4.0 student, or one with very high SATs and close to a 4.0 GPA. It was difficult for me to accept, but my son just said, OK, I won’t apply there. No big deal. After talking to his GC, he decided on will stay on his list as a reach, the other isn’t even on the list, and that is fine. Reading your story convinced me it’s the best decision, so thank you, it’s already had an impact.
Andi, although I followed your saga from last year, and I pieced together where andison applied this go around from the various congratulations threads, it was interesting to see the whole picture of the gap year coming from you.
Glad you talked about this…there’ve been a number of gap year threads this year, mostly by people not accepted to their dream schools who now are “stuck” with great but less prestigious alternatives. Have read where some, in that situation, feel they’ll do something amazing in the gap year, then Harvard will accept them, being older and wiser. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Especially as you point out, they only have till December to accomplish whatever overly thought out miraculous achievement they believe will get them in.
Interesting too that you wisely started at square one, not knowing exactly what detail or combination of factors may have led to the rejections and waitlists, even a new list of schools.
Congratulations…are there any younger andisons or andidaughters coming up?
Thanks so much for taking the time to post this for all those who will read it now and in the future. I am intrigued, of course, by the whole thing, and moved by your strength and his perserverance. As you know, I have followed the story from the first. One very important thing you mention now is that in re-writing his essays, your S let more of himself show through. I do not think that can be stated too strongly as a matter of real importance. When the uniqueness of your child was allowed to show through, the result were fantastic. And I really look forward to hearing about his accomplishments to come!
“mini~ While you are absolutely correct here, this IS a college site, after all, and within THAT context, getting either waitlisted or rejected from EVERY school on your list <em>IS</em> one of the worst things that can happen!”
On this website, within the past year, we’ve had parents die and the financial aid situation become impossible and without the school being willing to kick in, parents divorce, dads refuse unexpectedly to kick in, mistakes sent out by admissions offices saying students were admitted ony to later take it back and say the kid is on the waiting list; kids in severe automobile accidents; nervous breakdowns - all occurring within the context of college admissions on this site.
It is a very, very bad thing to be universally rejected from lots of reach schools, and to not have a safety that you love (which I think is the big lesson here), but it is still very far from the worst thing, even in the context of college admissions.
Many of the top schools now strongly encourage students to take a year off before attending. While the sting of the rejections was fierce, the objective reality of the situation is that Andi was pretty certain to get into a good school the following year and had what I hope is a wonderful year learning outside of a school environment, precisely what the top schools encourage. The hardest part must (I assume) have been the waiting.
Thank heavens the wait is over! and Andi can get on with a new stage of life. May it live up to the anticipation!
Will Andison take any courses with John Harbison in the music department? He is supposed to be great, and lots of Harvard students traipse over to his first-year classes.
My daughter applied to and got into Lafayette, Hamilton, Worcester Polytechnic, Tufts, Dartmouth and Harvard. Her guidance counsellor thought that this was a strange list. She went to every single one of these schools except WPI and loved them. Although she is going to Harvard, she would have been ecstatic to go to any of the others and would not have been disappointed if she didn’t get into her reaches. The point of this is that parents should make certain that their child loves all the schools that they apply to because most of the time it is like a lottery to get into some of them.
"On this website, within the past year, we’ve had parents die and the financial aid situation become impossible and without the school being willing to kick in, parents divorce, dads refuse unexpectedly to kick in, mistakes sent out by admissions offices saying students were admitted ony to later take it back and say the kid is on the waiting list; kids in severe automobile accidents; nervous breakdowns - all occurring within the context of college admissions on this site.:
Very true. We also had a student CC member, a college freshman at Cornell, die of alcohol intoxication.
Most of us oldtimers, including the OP (who said that she wished she had thought of a better title for this thread) know that much worse things can happen here than being rejected everywhere.
It is true that what happened to Andison in last years college admissions cycle is not, in the grand scheme of things, close to the worst that can happen to a person. But please, lets not let the fact that Andi might have chosen a more precise title for her post divert us from the main issue here: Andisons story is a valuable one.
mini there is <em>always</em> something worse that can happen. Le me re-explain. If you apply to 8 schools and get into 7, than that might be the second worst thing. If you get rejected by 8, than that is the worst thing. Does this make any sense??? Sheesh. Please try not to take the title so literally. And if it continues to bother you so much you have my permission to ask the moderator to change it to something like:
“Aside from getting bubonic plague, falling into a crevasse on Mt. Kilimanjaro,
or stepping on a land mine, getting rejected from all your colleges is one of the worst things that a kid can go through”
(apologies to anyone who has had bubonic plague, fallen into a crevasse, or stepped on a land mine. I don’t mean to make light of your misfortune.)
And yes, he has already had some dealings with John Harbison. Today he performed a piece written by one of his composition students for the end of semester recital.
But the point is that there was something mistaken about Andi’s son initial strategy, which is why Andi has done us all the favor of sharing the experience. He made the mistake of taking some colleges for granted and not finding and including colleges that were absolute safeties that he coud live with. It really is not something you can blame on “the system” – because all the colleges on Andi’s son’s first list make clear that they are competitive and reject more applicants than they accept.
The whole point of Andi’s story is that no student, no matter how smart and capable, can afford to take college admissions for granted. I think that in the long run, things have worked out for the best – Andi’s son had a marvelous gap year including international travel, and will be off to MIT next year. Years from now, he may look back on this as the best thing that ever happened to him.
But at the same time, he could have avoided the angst if he had applied to a true safety – such as a public university with rolling admission, or simply one of the many excellent but less prestigious private colleges with acceptance rates of 65% or above. We call them “safeties” for a reason.
I think Andi has done everyone a huge favor by sharing their story. To merely blame the system is to miss the point, which is that competitive college admissions is unpredictable.
Thanks Sybbie!!! You have been so wonderful and supportive and I don’t think I’ve ever expressed my appreciation to you- so I’ll say it now- I appreciate your many words of support and <3 <3
Thank God, NO ! andison was the second child. The first one’s choices were of more moderate selectivity and great matches for him. He got in ED and the whole thing was easy peasy. In a way it was a misleading experience and set us up for getting into trouble the second time around.
THANKS CALMOM. For some reason this just can’t be emphasized enough. I think many of us adults- at least speaking for myself- don’t realize that admissions has changed from when we were young. At least at the top schools.
Thank you andi for your insight. Parents and students come to this site to gain info about the college choices/application/transfer/FA processes. As such, your story that I lived through, along with many others, with pain in our hearts and empathy, is a true lesson in 1)how to choose, 2) how to get through what is a difficult time for kids and parents, 3) how to make lemonade out of lemons and 4) perseverence and strength of character. This is what your story does for all of us and for the parents who are about to go through the process. Many of us have seemed to come to know one another through our own journies through the vagaries of the college app process, and felt comfortable enough to raise additional issues that are truly tragic in a person’s life. That doesn’t make the results for you and your son andi any less hurtful. As our priest said, “your leg doesn’t hurt any less because someone else lost a parent, etc.” And those of us here do give advice and empathy in other, more personal tragedies. However, that is not the true purpose of this site, so I welcome your insight and well-meaning advice. Andi, you and andison are truly inspirational to everyone out there that went through it with you, have just gone through it, and will go through it again. This should be a captioned, perpetual thread for generations to come. God bless you and andison and I know he will have a great future!