- Campus Experience
- College Prep
It’s that time of year in the Office of College Counseling: Application Season! We see this as a joyous and celebratory time for our seniors and the community that rallies behind them. Most people would share that preparing college applications is a stressful time dedicated to filling out forms, writing essays, taking one last standardized test, and revising essays, all with a series of looming deadlines which require thoughtful and dedicated decisions. We’ve heard this discourse, and we don’t believe it.
We don’t believe that the process has to be overwhelming for students (or parents), and we recognize that moments within the process can be stressful, but that is where our role and the role of the student can dovetail nicely. There are many facets of the college search and application process. As counselors, we can model that this journey can be fun and exciting. Our goal is to break the process down into simple, manageable steps and then define for students what is within their control and what is not. Once those lines are drawn, we celebrate our students controlling the controllable.
The students have control over where they apply and when to submit that application. So we celebrate it! We dance, we laugh, we boomerang, (we even make bad puns), and as counselors, we make a big deal about it. Why? Because for every student at Perkiomen School, it is part of the process. You can’t be admitted to a college without applying, so we want to celebrate Every. Single. Application. Each student has a different journey finding schools they like, self-reflecting, and building their applications, but the one common thing is pushing the submit button. Which many of our students admit, was far easier than they expected!
We celebrate the parts of the process that we all share. We might not all apply to the same number of schools, and some may not have a clear “dream” school. Each student will receive admissions decisions at different times. Some will have more acceptances than rejections and for others it will be vice versa. But no student will be accepted to college without applying, making it the perfect place to start the celebration.
We also want to assure our students that they are in this with our community. They have encouraging classmates, excited younger students, and proud teachers and advisors who have been cheering them along. As a community, we embrace that this process should be exciting. We make silly Instagram videos because it gives our students a memory… and the wackier their counselor is, the more memorable it is.
For most students across the country and even the world, hitting the submit button on their college applications is not a memorable moment, but it should be. It is a step forward in the process and one that cannot come without intention and effort. So, we celebrate that moment of joy and we applaud the process together. Filming the application boomerang for Instagram is now a rite of passage, a new Perkiomen tradition. If we as counselors can make it more memorable by looking ridiculous in our celebrations, we gladly accept that honor.
Follow along on Instagram @perkcollegecounseling
By David Antoniewicz and Keegan Ash, Office of College Counseling
David Antoniewicz is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC) and former Board Director of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). A graduate of Susquehanna University, Antoniewicz began his career in higher education in 2006, and made the transition to independent schools in 2016. At Perkiomen, Mr. Antoniewicz is also assistant boys’ lacrosse coach and leads a team of two full-time dedicated college counselors.
Keegan Ash serves as the Treasurer-Elect for the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC). A graduate of Dickinson College and Drexel University, Mr. Ash started at Perkiomen in 2010. In that time he has taught math, Economics, history, ESL, TLC and currently teaches in the Entrepreneur Institute. He has coached football, basketball and strength & conditioning. When Mr. Ash is not wearing one of his many hats at Perkiomen, he can be found relaxing at home with his daughters, probably watching a classic Disney movie.
I’m so proud to work with a college counseling office focused on the goal of helping students to find the right-fit college after Perkiomen. We find success when we know that our students are going to the colleges and universities that will ensure that they continue to risk becoming their best.Keegan Ash, Associate Director of College Counseling