Essential Information for the College Bound -- Summer 2008

Which School?

You will live with the answer
the rest of your life.

Taking The Next Step
12904 Mizner Way
Wellington, FL 33414
(561) 790-5462
Robin Abedon
web site: TakingThe NextStep

At this time of year, as the curtain comes down on high school -- as all eyes are on college -- graduating seniors are showered with advice on how to get the most out of the college years and life beyond. I would like to offer a touch of advice that came to me some years ago in the college application essay of a very special student:

When I was in the eighth, ninth and tenth grades, I was young and what I thought to be mature. I was, after all, a teenager! I had an image to keep up now that I was basically an adult. I did have a few moments when I let my guard down and was a child once more; but only my family would see that side of me during my early morning half hour of "Batman" on television, or with Oliver (my stuffed bear) deep under the covers.

After I graduated from the ninth grade of Friends Academy, I started at Moses Brown School. I thought, this is high school! I will surely have to act my age. I made some good friends at Moses Brown, but none of them knew of my suppressed, and strengthening pension for play. My day was usually not a good one without "Batman," or my accumulating assortment of wind-up toys that ranged from gorillas jumping rope, to telephones that ring and run in circles, to skiing rabbits. Yet, I remained a closet "childaholic". I felt my disease was a rare one and if discovered, I would be ostracized. I didn't have the self-confidence at that point in my life to realize that it was important to carry the child into adulthood.

By the time my junior year arrived, I was more assured about myself. Only then, when I took the time to assess what it was that set me apart from my peers, did it sink in. I was child-like in my unfettered approach to life. I welcomed simple pastimes as pleasures and as essential in a world that is often cumbersome, difficult and deceptive. I began to share this capacity with friends who learned to unbend with me. For my sixteenth birthday party, all of my friends wore party hats, and were given favors of wind-up toys. The table was decorated with a "Miss Piggy" table cloth, and the meal was served on "Miss Piggy" plates and cups. I can't tell you how many of my sophisticated friends flipped over their toys and to this day have them poised on their desks ready for use when we share relaxed moments on the telephone.

Some people may say it is silly, but I think it is a gift to continue to enjoy simple things and to keep hold of the child within us all. As we progress and mature, the pressures of life increase, and we tend to bog down under them. It is necessary to side step and enjoy. I am happier and more comfortable with myself because part of what is woven into my adult years, are the threads of my childhood.

So to my graduating seniors, I commend this message to you. The child within helps us to find balance and perspective as adults.

And to my rising seniors I say a college essay that reaches inside to share a unique corner of who you are is a very good essay.