Submitted by Holly Perry, college adviser for South Creek High School in Martin County, NC
The first semester of senior year can be overwhelming. Graduation responsibilities, college applications, coursework, and so much more can really overwhelm students. As my second year as an adviser will soon come to an end, I find myself reflecting on one of my favorite times of the year — the arrival of college acceptances.
This is a time of year that I’m always excited for. In the last few months of the calendar year to the first few weeks of the new year, there is a “quiet” period. Most of the early college application deadlines have passed and students are working at their own pace on both scholarships and financial aid. This is the time that the awaited acceptance letters arrive in email inboxes and mailboxes across the country.
There is truly nothing like seeing a student enter your office with the biggest smile on their face and an envelope in their hands. You, as the college adviser, are often the first person they share this news with. It is truly a privilege to hear this news and to be able to witness the joy and excitement acceptance season brings. I am so excited for the opportunity to celebrate each one of my students and the hard work they put into each and every college application.
It is our duty as college advisers to celebrate all of our students’ successes. From the college acceptances to the improved test scores, we are the cheerleaders for our students. We are often one of the only individuals who take the time to listen to a student and their story, validating and recognizing their experiences. While it is important to recognize college acceptances, a huge part of our role is to support all students. This applies to my military and workforce bound students. Their process looks different than my college bound students, but I recognize that they deserve the same cheerleader and excitement. I often like to think of myself as a “future adviser.” I want the best for every single student that I have the honor of getting to know and work with.
As a college adviser, I have found myself reflecting on my service and thinking about the impact that I would like to have on my students. As they leave South Creek and transition to whatever life holds for them, I hope they know and remember a few things. First, I hope they remember that wherever life takes them, Ms. Perry believes in them. Many of them have never heard those words before, and that is a message I try to convey in everything that I do. Lastly, and most importantly, I want my students to remember that no piece of paper or decision will define who they are or their future. Their experiences are valid and they are valued.