The Fine Print Warns Against Senioritis

Seniors, over the course of the next few weeks you will be receiving word from the colleges and universities to which you have applied Regular Decision.  That news may come via email, online portal or letter (yes, some colleges still hold dear that tradition of sending those proverbial thick and thin envelopes).  The good news (which we hope there is a great deal of), often starts with an excited congratulatory sentiment.  It’s often the case that after that, the rest of the words become blurry.  And that’s as it should be.  The excitement that follows, the joy, the enthusiasm, the celebration – live in those moments – and enjoy them.  They are the culmination of all of your tremendous efforts not only this year but the prior years as well.  It’s possible once the initial excitement dies down, you turn to the shiny packet sent in the mail, the additional brochures, the admitted student Facebook group.  Your eyes may never return to or finish reading that initial letter.  We would encourage you to do so.  For in it you will find the fine print.Fine Print

Offers of admission are always contingent upon maintaining the academic performance upon which you were admitted, continuing high standards of personal conduct and completing all courses currently in progress.  What that essentially means is that the college at which you decide to enroll will be reviewing your final transcript when it’s available to ensure that your grades did not slip precipitously and to ensure that there were no changes to your conduct record.  Being admitted to college is not a free pass that allows you to let your responsibilities slide during the twilight of your high school career.  When colleges extend to you an offer of admission, they are inviting you into their community.  They are asking you to become a part of their campus academically and socially.  And they are doing so at the expense of making that admission offer to another student.  As the new school year approaches, they want to be sure that their newest students are prepared, intellectually and personally, to thrive on campus.  Sudden and dramatic changes to your academic and/or personal record will concern admission officers and will prompt what is often swift and decisive action on their part.

Remember, college admission officers were once high school seniors too.  They are not ruthlessly scanning final transcripts (which we will send automatically to the school at which you choose to enroll) for any slight drop in grades.  If you earn a B where previously you had earned an A, that’s not cause for concern.  In fact, it may very well be a fantastic opportunity for growth.  However, if there is a dramatic drop in performance, if there are failing or incomplete grades, courses that were dropped without the admission office’s knowledge or a change in your conduct record, a college or university may take steps to contact you, and in some cases, rescind an offer of admission.  Do not jeapardize your future plans for a momentary break from homework and exams.

All of us at NA care about you.  We want to see you finish senior year, and your time at Academy, on a high note.  Enjoy the celebrations that come with prom and graduation.  Take time to enjoy the spring weather with friends and family.  Savor those moments that will all too quickly become memories.  And be proud of the work you put forward during these last few months of school.  You’ve worked so hard for so long.  Now is not the time to lose focus.  The knowledge you gain and skills you hone during these last few months will serve as a springboard for the type of preparation and study skills you will be expected to exercise once you arrive on your respective college campuses in the fall.

If you find yourself struggling to maintain motivation, think about your teachers and all they’ve invested in you during your time at NA.  Think of your parents and the support they’ve provided.  Think of your peers and the shared pride you will feel when you receive your diplomas in June.  Think of the university that you cannot wait to attend next fall.  Think of yourself, your values and dig deep, we know you can do it.  The College Counseling team is here to address any questions or concerns you have as they relate to your final transcript and how it will be reviewed by a college.

We could not be prouder of each of you individually and your class as a whole.  You’ve accomplished so much.  So use that fine print as motivation to finish strong.  You’ll be glad you did.

Mrs. Wendy Livingston, Associate Director of College Counseling
Norfolk Academy
Spring, 2016