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Learning at its Best

A Letter to High School Seniors: Don’t Accept College Rejections

denied and approved stamps

Image courtesy of Joelk75/Flickr.

I wanted to share a recent essay I wrote for, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from “A Letter to High School Seniors: Don’t Accept College Rejections”:

Dear High School Seniors,

Over the past few weeks, many of you have received letters from the colleges to which you applied in the fall and winter.

Some of you are delighted with the outcome, having gotten into your top choice(s). Congratulations. This post is not for you.

Some of you are content, having gotten into a couple of schools that were high on your list. Wonderful. This post is not for you.

Some of you – all too many – are despairing because you received multiple rejections; got on wait lists that are unlikely to turn into acceptances; didn’t receive the financial aid you required; and realized that you actually have no interest in going to the affordable safety school that accepted you. This post is for you.

Many of you, who worked so hard and expected to get into an elite college with the kind of endowment that would ensure you could affordably attend with good financial aid, wonder why you even bothered to take all those AP courses; to study so diligently in classes that sometimes bored you to tears; to prep for the SATs; and to follow all the rules laid out for you during four years of high school.

Here’s my message to you: Don’t surrender your potential. Don’t accept the rejections. It’s time to forge your own path.

Read the complete essay.

~ Zoe

About zoeweil

I'm the co-founder and President of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE). IHE works to create a world in which we all live humanely, sustainably, and peaceably. We do this by training people to be humane educators who teach about the pressing issues of our time and inspire people to work for change while making healthy, humane, and restorative choices in their daily lives. We also work to advance the field of humane education, and to provide tools and inspiration to people everywhere so that they can live examined, meaningful lives. I'm also a writer. So far I've written six books and several articles.


One thought on “A Letter to High School Seniors: Don’t Accept College Rejections

  1. Zoe,
    I’m inspired by your post – especially your three questions that speak to passion. I was lucky and pretty much always knew what my soul wanted me to be when I grew up – but I don’t think that’s the norm. We should encourage young people – even very young people – to explore their passion. I think it’s the start of a happier world. Great post.

    Posted by Melissa Rohwedder | May 2, 2013, 9:45 am

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