With a 15-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter, we have many things in our house. Family consensus, however, is rarely one.
The variety of opinions between the four of us is comical at times. At times. Mostly it’s maddening. From seemingly simple decisions of what/where to eat to the conservatorship of Britney Spears, on nearly a daily basis, there are adamant divergent perspectives about music, sports, and what constitutes important or urgent.
The subject that garners the most consternation, however, is movies. Typically, two of us agree, and we can coerce one other to concede. But getting the fourth? Oh baby! It’s like the backroom machinations or public theater of moving Congressional legislation: name calling, bribery, blackmail, horse trading, posturing, grandstanding… and that’s all just from my wife.
Thankfully, at this time of year, there is a movie that we not only all agree on but are actually jointly excited to watch…ELF. You knew that was coming, right?! Who doesn’t love ELF? If that’s you, feel free to unsubscribe. If you haven’t seen this modern classic, do yourself a favor and check it out today.
Naturally, we still have some disagreement surrounding this movie, but it’s more about when to watch. My daughter contends it should be the first movie of the holiday season, while I advocate for it to be last. Typically, this means it is the one movie we watch twice in December. We also each have different favorite scenes: “Mailroom,” “Snowball fight,” “Unmasking Santa,” and the bathroom rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” are our four.
The movie also contains fantastic lines that each of us quote during December and periodically throughout the year:
“Santa!! I know him.”
“He’s an angry elf!”
“Congratulations! The world’s best cup of coffee!”
“Make work your favorite. Work’s your new favorite.” (You can probably guess who says that one and when in our house).
Regardless of your favorite scene/line in ELF, I think we can all agree that “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” The truth is we could all use more cheer in our lives in general, and in college admission, particularly this year, cheer sounds pretty good right about now.
So, if you are a high school senior, here are three easy ways to spread admissions cheer:
- Make Celebrating Your New Favorite. When you into a college, whether or not it is your absolute top choice, your job is to celebrate. If you find yourself saying, “Yea. Well, I figured I’d get in there,” or “I’m in. But it’s my backup,” or it’s “just the University of X,” then you are doing this wrong. Wrong I say! Naughty list. C’mon, man. You put in the time, effort, thought, and money to apply to each college. When they come back with an admit, you are obligated to smile. What?! You don’t remember signing that agreement on the Common App? Trust me. It was there.
People call these offers of admission. Forget that. It’s an invitation- an amazing opportunity- and another choice you get to make! Amazing. What human doesn’t want invitations, options, and choices? Congratulations! Celebrate every win. Go to dinner, buy yourself something. You do you. But promise me you’ll celebrate. Spread that cheer, people.
2. Move the “Clausometer.” As we discussed recently, the college admission experience, if done right, is a chance to learn, grow, discover, and mature. But did you know it can also make you a better friend? That’s correct. For no additional charge, college admission can actually improve your relationships with classmates, teammates, and peers. I don’t know what’s happening with you right now. Maybe you have been admitted Early Decision and are excited, happy, and at peace. Maybe you were deferred or denied by a school where you were really hoping to be admitted—or likely somewhere in between. Not to get all Papa Elf on you, but… that’s life.
When things are going well and you are excited about your momentum and successes, it’s easy to forget to celebrate the wins and successes of others. Conversely, whether it be disappointment or lack of contentment with your job, relationships, finances, influence, etc., we can miss the opportunity to lift our friends up and come around them in their winning moments. “The best way to spread admission cheer, is to sing loud for all to hear.” Who in your life is fired up about an admit they recently received? What can you do to celebrate that? Be a good friend. Sing it with me—Loud for all to hear!
3. Celebrate that “Someone Special!” It is hard work being a teacher, a counselor, a coach, etc. Getting into college is an excuse to give them some love. My hope is that every time you get admitted you will be reminded that you did not get there alone. Somebody drove you to school and practice. Somebody taught and coached you. Somebody paid for stuff (technical term) and made big sacrifices along the way on your behalf. You are great! Of course. But you have been made great by a collective effort and consistent investment. The support that amplified your talent and potential.
Take the time this month to look around and “sing” thank you. A sibling, parent, teacher, coach, relative, or a manager…or all of the above. This is not text time, friends. I’m going to challenge you to step it up here and go to them in person. Imagine the joy and excitement you’ll be able to share together if you walk in, high five/fist bump/hug them and acknowledge that they are a big reason for the opportunities you have now. Let’s get ELF-ish here and sing this one with some real gusto.
Fittingly, this makes the 23rd blog of 2023! I am deeply appreciative for you taking the time to read, consider, share… and SING! Enjoy time with your friends and family this season. I sincerely hope you will rest, relax, and be reminded of what is really important. You are bound for amazing things in 2024. Looking forward to being part of that. Much love and Happy Holidays, friends.