I spent the morning in a classroom with a group of fifth graders at a local elementary school for their inaugural college day. As I stood in front of boisterous ten and eleven year olds, it was a poignant moment to realize, for some, today marked the first time they realized they could and would go to college. It may seem odd to do a college preparation event for fifth graders, but it’s actually perfect timing. The perfect time to instill a belief that college is possible, the perfect time to nurture special talents and interests, the perfect time to help students recognize that whatever their dream job, be it a professional soccer player, lawyer, marine biologist or motorcycle shop owner, they will need a college degree.
For those members of the class of 2023, today the idea of college became a little less foggy and a little more attainable. On the other hand, for the class of 2016, today was a big day, a day of clarity, as they eagerly awaited admissions decisions from some of the most well known institutions: UC Berkeley, Columbia and NYU among others. And again, there were surprises, lives seemingly changed in an instant, dreams came true, while others faced failure for the first time. Regardless of the decisions, there is relief at finally knowing, finally feeling like they’ve regained a little control over their futures and now in the position to finally decide where they will transition into adulthood.