At this time last year (i.e., the day after UCLA opened its admissions portal) I posted about the experience of sitting in the cheap seats while my students found out if they'd achieved their goals.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Bernardo, Lizbeth, Ryland, and several other members of RHS' Class of 2013) are Bruins now. UCLA is back to winning NCAA tournament games. And I'm hoping that those of you who have dreams of Westwood (or Berkeley, or Palo Alto, or anywhere else you haven't heard from yet) are successful. Keep in mind: successful doesn't necessarily mean gaining admission to a particular school. I was fortunate to learn this definition of Success from Coach John Wooden, the author of the Pyramid of Success and coach of ten NCAA basketball championship teams:
Peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming.
To be honest, I'm still working on the peace of mind part myself. But the fact remains: whether or not we are rewarded by institutions or the marketplace, there is no substitute for knowing we have given our all in a great cause. Let the chips fall where they may and be proud of yourselves for your accomplishments. And, as I said in class yesterday, if you are not yet proud enough of your accomplishments to be independently content whether or not some admissions office stamps its approval, this is the first day of the rest of your life. Begin.
This kudos goes out to everyone who dedicates themselves to whatever they're doing. If you got into UCLA, welcome to the Bruin Family. (In fact, as an officer of the newly formed Central Coast Bruins, it's my great pleasure to invite you to a Bruin send-off if you decide to attend.) If you didn't, hold your head up and, to paraphrase Thoreau, continue to go boldly in the direction of your dreams.