DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter and I have just completed the college application process, and we are emotionally and physically exhausted. She is an excellent student and a hard worker. She applied to a ton of colleges, and while she got in to a number of them, none was her favorite. She picked a great college to attend, but I can’t help but be disappointed that she was rejected from so many. I have listened to other parents share their woes about this process, but right now it still stings.
I learned that there were record numbers of applicants this year due to two years of COVID-19 restrictions. The numbers made it hard for kids to be noticed when so many students were applying -- especially to the top schools. Still, that doesn’t make me feel better. I need to get over this. My daughter is happy with her choice. What’s wrong with me? -- College Bound
DEAR COLLEGE BOUND: You are still in the college process. Until your daughter is settled at her school, it will probably feel a bit uncomfortable. Apart from where she goes, there is the fact that she is leaving your home -- and you. No matter how strong you are, that’s a huge emotional shift for you. Allow yourself to face that.
Regarding where she was accepted and where she is going, do your best to be OK with it. She needs your full support -- without doubts or regrets. It is perfectly understandable that you would be disappointed that she didn’t get selected by her favorites. But it will be OK. She will get a good education and begin to make her way in the world. Part of life is the cycle of acceptance and rejection. Yes, it is hard to handle rejection, but we all must learn to do so with grace. Lick your wounds privately. Talk to confidantes quietly. And be that example of groundedness. She needs that. You both do.