I’m just going to put it out there right now: I cry quite a bit in this job. I’ve cried in my office, on my way home from the school, and I once straight up sobbed as I watched last year’s senior walk down the aisle for their graduation. And then again a sweet, sweet salutatorian thanked me in her speech (Note to self for this year’s graduation ceremony: bring tissues).
Perhaps that’s not the most professional quality. This job really takes toll on your heart though! If you think about it, a high school student’s senior year is stressful and emotional and kids are making big decisions and some are failing and some are worried and some express a lot of self-doubt when you know and you tell them that they are kind and brilliant humans with beautiful souls and bright futures.
At first, I was extremely self-conscious about getting emotional while doing my job. But you know what? I’m going to own it now. I love this work and I love these students. And I’m going to let them know it. Some of them are the first in their family to go to college and don’t understand that sometimes there are issues with their FAFSAs or their senior year grades and they walk the dangerous ledge of maybe missing deadlines, and therefore missing opportunities. Some of them have busy parents who don’t have time to shout and dance when an acceptance letter arrives in the mail.
And I’m lucky enough to be on the front line for those events.
Case in point: a really awesome and talented senior recently applied and was accepted to his dream film school. He worked so hard on his application and I was asking him twice a day how he was doing on his application or to see when they might be sending out decision letters. He’d been in contact with the admissions representative, hearing nothing but good news. He would talk dreamingly about how when he got his acceptance letter he would run in my office and show me. Then one day, he came in my office with a defeated look, a hidden camera, and a rejection letter.
Spoiler alert #1: the rejection letter was fake.
Spoiler alert #2: I cried.