4 Things I Want My Daughter To Know About The College Search

CollegeDear Principessa,

I can tell by the glossy look in your eyes that you are lost in worry.  The prospect of college is daunting.  You wonder if you are smart enough, prepared enough, or brave enough.  You perform the tricks that your educational system demands but question its effectiveness.  You compare yourself to standards and graphs and peers and end up feeling like a bruised tomato in a tossed salad.

Take a deep breath and know that all is well. Contrary to popular sentiment, the decisions you face are not as dire as you’ve been led to believe.  It’s okay to be confused.  It’s okay if you choose a college or a career and change your mind.  That’s what growing up is all about – figuring out who you are and how you want to contribute to life.  If you’re like most people, you’ll never stop questioning yourself.  Nor should you, unless you seek complacency (SAT vocabulary word alert – learn it.)

Try to remember these things:

  1. Stay In Your Own Lane – Don’t worry about what your peers are doing. Who cares if they’ve taken more honors classes or applied to more colleges? Focus on you and the life you’re driving, lest you crash. Distracted driving in life is as dangerous as in a car.
  2. Do Your Best – This advice is often misunderstood. Your best in any given moment is not the same as your best ever. Current circumstances determine your performance. If you’re tired or stressed, your best will be different from a day when you are on top of the world. That’s just the way it is. Roll with it.
  3. Open Your Mind – Believe nothing. Question everything. Explore, discover, and reveal life as you see it. Don’t take the world’s word for it about the way things are. See things through your unique eyes. Believe that they can be different and that they aren’t always as they seem. Am I making myself clear or do I have to reference Albert Einstein?
  4. Let Your Heart Sing – Your heart has a song that was composed just for you. I know because I’ve been listening to it since before you were born. No one else can play its music – it belongs only to you and it’s always in perfect pitch. The more you tune into your heart’s song, the better the world can hear it. Go ahead, let it sing, the world has been waiting.

You asked me if I would be disappointed in you if you made certain choices about college – choices that might not be in line with my own desires.  Are you kidding?  The only thing that would disappoint me would be if you made choices based on ‘shoulds.’  It would break my heart to watch you trudge through life, defeated and demoralized, because you didn’t care about yourself enough or know yourself enough to hear your calling.

I want three things for you, my daughter: Joy, Success (by your own standards), and Love.  I want you to love your life.  I’ve wished these things for you from babyhood and promised myself that I would help you find them.

You, Dear One, are a magnificent specimen of life.  You don’t see it yet, but you will, in glimpses or grandiosity, and I will be right here cheering for you.  I will always be your biggest fan.

Love,

Mom

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Linda Sacha
    May 06, 2014 @ 11:59:36

    Boy could i have used a letter like this about 40 years ago! And now at age 59, I am struck by how much wisdom it still offered me… most especially your spin on “do your best… in the given moment.” wow this perfectionist needed to hear that one.

    Reply

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