As we begin 2017 and look with admiration and anticipation towards the commencement of our very first twelfth-grade graduating class, we share exciting information about our students’ early college decisions. At every turn, our students live their values, love learning, dive deep, and follow their passions. In typical Nueva style, as they prepared their college applications, our students took time for self-reflection, embraced the research, and found schools that fit them extraordinarily well.
“Some people will know exactly when they get on campus where they want to go, but that was not the case for me,” said Alex C. “My process for finding the school for me comprised research, talking to students, and visiting the schools.”
“I knew I wanted to attend a small engineering school, which considerably narrowed the field for me,” said Jeremy T. “The school I liked best didn’t require any standardized test scores, so as part of their flexible application I built a website featuring all my favorite projects over the last few years. It was nice to use the work I am most proud of to apply.”
Twelfth-grade student Jill M. also took a unique approach to selecting where she would apply. “I wanted to go somewhere small because I love how tiny Nueva is and that I have small classes here. I know that I function best in a seminar-style environment.”
“Nueva did a great job of bringing in a range of colleges for us to look at,” said Conrad S. “The message was that there’s no one right school for every student, and even for one student there’s no one right school.”
Throughout the college application process students discovered many opportunities for personal growth and skill development.
“I’m not naturally good at talking about myself or really articulating what I want, so it was a really valuable process to figure out where I can honestly see myself being for four years,” said Juliette L. “Talking to various people forced me out of my comfort zone, as well as asking people for help, and presenting a version of myself that would be attractive to colleges.”
“It really forces you to think about yourself in a context separate from your friends and classmates and school,” said Conrad. “Eventually it is an individual process. That individual focus was something I hadn’t really thought about; I had never really made a decision like that before.”
“The process was difficult but definitely helped me figure out a lot about myself,” said Alex. “Looking back on the process, I see how the personal essays challenged me to figure out who I am and what I am passionate about.”
After submitting their applications, our twelfth-grade students’ acceptance decisions also reflected their knowledge of themselves and commitment to following their own paths.
“I will be taking a gap year next year to continue teaching in Nueva’s I-Lab and to work on building a flying car,” said Jeremy. “I have so many resources and relationships in this area that to leave it all behind all at once would be a misuse of opportunity.”
“I did very thorough research and created a big spreadsheet to rank all the various factors of the schools I thought I could see myself attending,” said Jill. “The school I chose lined up with all my values and the stats made sense. I really love the environment of women’s colleges and how empowering they are for students.”
“The one thing I was most happy about in this process was that I trusted myself when trying to decide between two schools,” said Juliette. “A lot of people were pushing me toward one option, but I decided I wanted to wait for my options to open up. Trusting my own instincts and abilities was a skill I learned at Nueva.”
As of the end of December, our students have been admitted early to a wonderful range of schools — small liberal arts colleges, large technological institutions, mid-size private universities, and big public universities.
We are delighted that this is the BEGINNING of the college admission season, NOT the end, and we enthusiastically await the good news to come. Some of our students chose to apply only under regular decision, or were deferred to regular decision, and won’t receive their good news until late March.
The patient waiting and anxiety of January, February, and March of senior year can be a very difficult time for everyone. Nueva’s nurturing and inclusive community is at its best in these times. Our school culture and student-led activities such as the College Wellness Task Force keep us strongly dedicated to every student, happy for successes, and supportive when news is not good.
We move forward on this exciting path to the Class of 2017 Commencement by keeping our focus on student learning through our comprehensive curriculum and experiences. It is this that prepares our students for their lifetime of learning.
February 17, 2017