The meaning of "design" implies a process oriented around future hopes and dreams. Check out these synonyms for "design:"
Design is at the heart of the college admissions process. As you can see from these synonyms, the word implies a sense of flexibility about outcomes. In designing or drawing something, you are exploring a path forward. Not the only path forward, but a path forward.
Often students and parents become married to just one pathway, to one outcome in the admissions process. Instead, we should liken the experience to the drafting of a paper. At the outset of a process, you may have an idea of what you want to have happen, but along the road, things change.
The design is alive. You must make adjustments, modifications. People give you feedback. You have epiphanies. You make connections, revisit your original thoughts, and make changes accordingly.
Similarly, the journey toward adulthood is a process of becoming. Just as is the case with anything that requires design, there are early sketches and prototypes. Life is a series of steps toward refining our purpose. We refine and refine until we get things closer to how we’d like them to be.
With design, things change.
You deserve a process that is about much more than just you getting in to a particular school. If you haven't already, start thinking about your college search in terms of purposeful planning—beyond the planning that is taking place in the current system.
Long-Term Thinking: Part of the Design Process
If you're a student, take the time to find out what will make you happy in the long run instead of just at this moment (though this is important, too.) I am not talking about the list of colleges, the due dates, and the checklists of things to get done. I am talking about the deep reflection that you need to do to really think about how your gifts and desires will be supported to catalyze you in next step of your journey to adulthood.
If you're a parent or mentor, re-shape your definition of college admissions success based on holistic and purposeful design. And then watch your student blossom!
Tips & Methods for a Purpose-Driven Search
If you are a student, parent, coach, or mentor looking for an escape from the current madness of college admissions, you should check out Admissions by Design. You'll find a lot of great tips and research on unconventional, yet tested methods for finding the right college—with purpose.