Habits of Mind

Deferred, but Not Dismayed

By December 17, 2014 October 24th, 2018 No Comments

As parents of high school seniors well know, the early decision season has just come to a close. There was a brief burst of energy – light for some (accepted!) and fright for others (denied!) – and for the rest, the odd state of being deferred.

It’s certainly odd to be told, “not now, maybe later,” by anonymous admissions committees at the very places we have declared, out loud, that we’d like to study and live.

We immediately think, why not now, and why maybe later? And we wonder, we really rack our brains, about what could we do to change just enough to convince someone we don’t know that we’ve got the foot to fit their shoe.

I was deferred from my college of choice, and I turned out more than fine. In fact, being deferred and subsequently denied from the place I idealized attending was arguably the best thing that happened to me. I tell my students this each year, and it usually doesn’t help. But it could.

The college I ended up going to was the portal to worlds of happiness and opportunity. It offered me a chance to hone my craft as a writer, to study abroad, to know diverse and fascinating people, and to realize that a good friend of mine might be better as my husband.



Jessica is a doctoral candidate, education consultant, writer and editor. She is the founder of bookclique, a collaborative of English teachers and students working to promote book culture, and a co-founder of Well-Schooled, the site for educator storytelling, dedicated to sharing first-person educator stories. All Rights Reserved - What I Learned Today in School.