Twas Days Before The Early Admissions Deadline…

Twas days before the first Early Admissions deadline
Students are furiously typing, their parents fretting
Online applications half completed
Teenagers rationalizing the form “won’t take that long to complete”
Yet, their parents hover, murmuring about “crashed servers”, 
Admonishing not to submit at the “last minute”, literally 11:59 pm
On the deadline day

Still visions of acceptance letters danced in their heads
Rudely burst by fears about being “rejected” 
Deep in sleepy neighborhoods, there arose such a clatter
As the blue backlight of smart phones everywhere flash
A’twitter with frantic “chancing” on any convenient Gen Z social media thread
Desperate to quell their insecurities

Then, just as suddenly, the insecurity passes, and in one compulsive click
Teens return to Google docs unfurling autobiographical stories 
From deep within their consciousness
Like moonlight illuminating a “new-fallen snow”
Teen renewed in their commitment to their college quest
No matter what

And, by morning, “what to the wondering eyes” of parents everywhere “did appear”
But, a teenager, triumphant with a complete college essay draft
Bleary-eyed, yet determined to embrace another day of the AP rat race
Plus hours of after-school commitments
Then, once again return to screens, when purple darkness descends

Summoning each of their Reach, Target, and Backups by name
Now, UC Berkeley, Now, Princeton, Now, Villanova, Now NYU and Georgetown
On, UCLA, On Harvard, On MIT and Purdue
To the extent of the character count! To the deadline!
Now, write! Write! Write!
Once again, fingers frenzied as their minds fly ahead of their words per minute speed
Parents, sigh, relieved on the other side of a closed door
Comforted that once again their teens are back in the race for college
They retire to Facebook, posting hopeful memes that an application will be done…soon

“And then, in a twinkling” (well, really seven days later), parents hear the magic words, 
“Mom, I need your credit card!” 
As she shuffles in from the other room, hopeful, eager,
Parent and teen stare at the screen

Everyone silent that seventeen years of expectation, anticipation, 
Hours spent sweating on fields, in gyms, on the pitch,
Weekends sacrificed to parades of teens delivering oratories in competition
Numerous all-night cram sessions for countless AP courses
Culminate in a single click

Some utter prayers, making offerings, acknowledging that after the clicking, “Submit”
Some power other than themselves will be at play
A leap of faith
That teen and parent have done all they could
Payment made
Application submitted
The gravitas of the moment passes
Parents ask, “When is the next one due?” 
No rest for the weary
Teens once again sit with fingers poised over the keys
With a dismissive wave, signaling their parents’ departure
But as the door, softly clicks, 
Parents exclaimHappy first college application submitted!” 

Hat tip to Clement Clarke Moore, “A Visit From St. Nicholas”

For more information about how to both plan for and navigate the complex college admissions process in order to minimize the risk of educational malinvestment, check out Creative Marbles Consultancy

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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