Character building during the college admissions transition

By General Education Advice

There is a hard truth about life: going through challenges – successfully – elevates us.

We all wish we did not have the challenge and could just get elevated.

But that is not how life generally works.    Years ago, I worked with a member of one of America’s wealthiest and most prominent families.  He was born rounding third base.  No struggles at all. Indeed, when he failed out of one highly elite college, he simply  transferred to an even more elite college!   I met him a few years after his coke addiction.  He actually discussed the virtues of work when one of our friends asked him why he didn’t spent his time sailing around the world or something more glamorous than working as a lawyer.

“The Learning Consultants has become a public health service for Connecticut students and their parents,” so said a well known public health doctor from Yale as she extolled our college counseling, tutoring, and test prep services in an e-mail to her friends.

I really loved reading the line about public health.  It made me laugh but, more importantly, it made me realize that she really understood our mission.  The unique way we work with our students and families is designed to help elevate our clients to reach their potential.  Relieving stress – working in a healthy way – is one way we accomplish our college counseling mission. This is particularly true for juniors in high school.

Most every parent of a high school junior in Connecticut is likely sick of hearing: “junior year is so hard.” Indeed, due to the combination of starting the college search, taking SATs/ACTs, AP classes, and knowing that 11th grade matters the most for college admission, junior year of high school is the hardest year of K-12 and, for some, will be harder than college.

It also presents an opportunity for your child. Character is built through challenge. We sometimes forget in all our complaining that every great person went through challenging times to become great. You can likely point to one of your children’s grandparents or other admired older relatives as examples of people who became great because of their challenges.

Junior year is a character building year. That’s a good thing.  And, if you need help getting through your character building year, we are here to help