Thursday, December 8, 2011

"It's Kinda Like American Idol Auditions"

Everyone is feeling it.




College counselors.

It's the bedlam of emotions raging within.

Excitement. Anxiety.

The letter could come any day!

The letter could come any day...gulp!

In the next couple weeks, high school seniors all across the globe will be getting admission decisions back from early admissions at selective colleges.

There will be rounds of champagne-for-everyone.

And there will be "hell to pay" for someone (college counselors usually).

But right now - we're all just waiting for the results.

I always tell parents, in particular, that it's kinda like American Idol auditions.

We're the folks that have to wait outside the doors while our kids go sing their hearts out to the college admissions judges.

For 12+ years these kids have been preparing for this moment.

This mother-of-all adolescent auditions.

And, of course, we all think that everyone of our kids is "American Idol" material.

Or in this case is UVA material. Or Duke material. Or Princeton material.

Do you remember Jordan Sparks?

For whatever reason she comes to mind.

Maybe it is because I'm not an American Idol junkie like my wife, but I do remember her audition a couple seasons ago.

Truth is, we all think our kids are Jordan Sparks.

I have 7 kids who applied Early Decision or Single Choice Early Action.

I think every one of those kids should come squealing out of the audition doors with a "yellow slip" (aka admission letter).

But I suffer from the same cockeyed myopia that everyone else does.

Because I live in a small little bubble world at Casady.

And I forget, like parents do, that at some colleges, there are 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 who are auditioning as well. And every one of those applicants has a family member standing outside the door thinking their kid is Jordan Sparks too.

In closing, I think that every parent of the 7 kids who applied early would agree with me that the hardest part right now is not the waiting.

That's penultimate.

What causes fits of insomnia is knowing that the decision is ultimately out of our hands.

All we can do during this wait period is take deep breaths.

Say longer prayers.

Keep the "big picture" in front of our faces (these decisions don't define our kids; they don't define our parenting skills, etc.; there is an excellent college fit out there; our kids are going to do great things regardless of where they matriculate...)

Tell our kids we love them.

And prepare ourselves to rejoice with those who will rejoice,

and weep with those who will weep.

And for those who get deferred (and the forecast seems to suggest a lot of deferred kids) - it means we get to do this whole audition-wait-outside-the-door thing again in April.

Nobody said this process was for sissies.:)