College Decision Time

By College Counselor Jill O’Keefe

A collage of college stickers


No matter how you report it, gleaning 13 offers of admission from 16 applications is an astounding achievement…yet that is exactly what our senior, Taylor Sibthorp, has achieved.

Last fall I would have characterized Taylor’s approach to her college applications as a mix of practicality and lofty aspiration. Today, in a world where walking your dog and grocery shopping require courage, I have a different way of looking at things.

Taylor put together a collage of stickers she has received from some of the schools she has been accepted to. Shown in the image above, it is an interesting statement on what we ask of our college-bound youth. Myriad references to courage mixed with invitations to “make some noise” and then enjoy a tea break reflect our cultural expectations. While it is unlikely that these stickers were produced with COVID-19 in mind, in light of the circumstances we find ourselves in today, they seem somewhat prescient.

Did Taylor’s achievement require courage? Was Taylor required to act even when fearful? To a certain degree both of these statements are true. Doing the work required to compile a competitive application to an academically strong college is not for the faint of heart, but Taylor worked through her uncertainty and trusted that her education and the WMS community would serve her well. She took a leap of faith and had the courage to work through her fear to achieve something extraordinary.

Now she is facing a different challenge…how to choose among 13 excellent opportunities at a time when she can’t venture much beyond her front yard. Again, some courage is required. But the leap of faith she needs to take at this juncture has an inevitable outcome—Taylor will attend a stellar college and experience her dream, an excellent, horizon-expanding education.

Congratulations, Taylor! We can’t wait to hear where we can find you in the fall!