People are wired with a need for certainty. We crave it. We want to have answers, and we want them now! But as the COVID pandemic has reminded us time and time again, we can’t be certain of much these days. In fact, one of the few things we can be sure of this: more uncertainty may lie just around the corner.
While having unanswered questions can cause stress and anxiety, it also brings us an opportunity for growth! It can lead us to try new things. It can help us reflect on those things that are truly important. And it can give us the chance to reevaluate our methods, goals, and values.
Perhaps there is no better example of this type of reinvention than within the world of education. The pandemic forced schools to quickly adjust to a new method of teaching and to examine what was truly important for their students. Fortunately, taking challenges and turning them into opportunities is one of the things which makes Fairmont such an exceptional educational institution.
While the uncertainty of COVID has impacted every facet of education, the college admissions process has, arguably, taken one of the biggest hits. In a time where equity and access to our nation’s universities were already being questioned, COVID came in to shake up the conversation even more. Colleges that used standardized testing as a major part of their application evaluation are having to pivot since so few students will have the chance to take the exams. Thankfully, plenty of colleges are already “test-optional” and able to lead the way.
The challenge, though, is with our current high school students, as some of the more common means of demonstrating a strong academic profile are being changed. This moving target is difficult for students, parents, and counselors alike, as things around us change so quickly. It underscores the need for students to be flexible and to pursue activities that genuinely interest them, instead of trying to meet expectations that may change.
So where do we go from here?
- Use uncertainty to your advantage to solidify your own passions. Allow uncertainty to open new doors and opportunities as they present themselves. Who would have guessed in February 2020 that months of your education would have been delivered to you remotely? But it has given you the chance to explore new things. It all depends on your perspective and your ability to trust in yourself.
- Take advantage of the resources which are available to you at Fairmont. You do NOT need to navigate the road to college on your own. Your College Counseling Department can provide you with a roadmap to handle the twists and turns which COVID has placed in your path on the way to your college destination. While the average counselor to student ratio is 760:1, Fairmont assigns a counselor for every 75 students. The result: a personalized route to reach the college of your choosing.
Your college counselor is here to assist you in any way possible. Think of him or her as your “personal GPS.” So activate your navigation system … NOW!