Ivy Day 2023: A Note from College Counseling

So… last week was Ivy Day. Some of you got decisions back from some big-name schools; maybe from your dream school, maybe from a school you just applied to on a whim to see what would happen. Whatever the case, there are a lot of emotions – and reaction videos – floating around this time of year. 

As somebody who’s been there, and who’s been through a few Ivy days with my College Counseling students now, I’d like to remind you to take a moment and do the following:

  1. Breathe.
  2. Acknowledge all the sweat and tears you’ve put into high school and your college apps.
  3. Remind yourself that a few people sitting in a room glancing through thousands upon thousands of applications do not define your worth or your potential.

This goes for any school, but especially the Ivies, where you could get a perfect SAT score, be valedictorian, volunteer for hundreds of hours, be president of all the clubs, and then cure cancer — and you still wouldn’t be guaranteed a spot. It’s a bit of a gamble.

If you got into the Ivy you applied for, that’s amazing! We are thrilled for you, and you totally deserve to celebrate your success.

If, on the other hand, you didn’t get in, it’s okay to be disappointed, sad, confused. Take time to process all those feelings. But in the midst of all that— please allow yourself to be proud of everything you’ve accomplished, and know that wherever life takes you next, you’re gonna crush it. The Ivies don’t have a monopoly on happiness, success, or opportunities

That’s why even when one of my students gets an Ivy acceptance, I always remind them: you still get to decide, out of all the schools you’ve been accepted into (both Ivy and non Ivy), which school is going to be your home for the next four years. You have the final say in determining which school can offer you the space, resources, and environment you need in order to grow into the most happy, fulfilled version of yourself. 

By the way, in this age of news networks and colleges spamming your feed with acceptance reaction videos, know that you don’t have to tell anyone your admissions results. That’s your business and your business alone; if you don’t want to play the comparison game with your classmates, you have every right to keep that information to yourself.

To sum it up: take care of yourselves. No college’s admission decision will ever define your worth or your potential. Each decision – yes or no – is just one piece in the big, wonderful puzzle that is your future. You’re gonna be an amazing, kind, successful, creative individual no matter what. Remember that.

Madison B.

College Counselor

Washington University St. Louis (Full Scholarship Recipient)

Submit Comment

Leave Your Comment