A Smart Plan B - Part 1 of 3

For you high school seniors who have applied Early Action or Early Decision, your results will be arriving in about a month or sooner. When you play the high-stakes game of college admissions, especially at Ivy and “elite" schools, sometimes you may lose.

Rejection comes with the territory. It can hurt badly. The good news, though, is that things seem to tend toward working out for the best, most of the time. I'd like to take a multi-part look at rejections, deferrals, and wait lists and suggests ways to think about and deal with them. In other words, I'd like to give you some insights about creating a Plan B for your success.

My experience has shown me one thing for sure: There are no sure things. Much of life is a series of carefully — and sometimes not so carefully — considered ventures. Quick-and-dirty folk wisdom tells us to “Do our best and good things will happen." Sure, that's cool. Many of us, though, suffer an excess of after-the-fact self-criticism. “If only I had done [this] or [that], things would have been different." Those are words of torment. We can second-guess ourselves until the Mother Ship arrives, but it won't change reality.

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