I remember when I was a little kid, every time I brought home good grades or played in a piano recital or even just got off the phone with my grandfather, I would get an “I’m so proud of you”. And I was proud of myself, too.
As we get older, sometimes accomplishments turn into expectations. Getting straight A’s might’ve been your thing in elementary and middle school. It might’ve started out as impressive, a feat that not everyone could accomplish. Then that first B or C in a hard high school class hits you. And suddenly, that impressive accomplishment that became an expectation is shattered, and the pride you should feel for getting through a difficult class gets overshadowed by the higher and higher standards you've come to hold yourself to.
Here's the thing, though. You have made it through half of your high school experience! You have struggled and prevailed, and you will do it again. I hope you continue to challenge yourself, and to be proud of facing those challenges and working hard to succeed. I hope you find new ways to create balance in your life. Although junior year and the prospect of starting your college search can be scary, exciting, and overwhelming at times, making space for the things that help you through the overwhelm – friends, family, and hobbies – is also an important skill that you will carry into college and beyond. They are also amazing resources – along with counselors, teachers, and of course our admissions publications and blogs(!) – for you throughout your college search experience. Don’t be afraid to reach out or ask for help.
I want to let you in on a little secret—when I look through the wonderful students joining our class of 2027 whose transcripts I looked at and essays I read, I tell them “I’m proud of you”. Sometimes quite literally out loud in my office. And I say this because it’s true – I am proud of them for keeping up the good work in their academics, for persevering through hard times, for using their resources, for graduating high school, and for keeping their passions alive. These are not small feats. And I think I speak for all of us in Tufts undergraduate admissions when I say we are proud of you for what you have accomplished so far and will be proud of you for what you will accomplish (and what we will hopefully get to read about in your application!) in your future.