I know Eliot said, "April is the cruelest month," but he clearly wasn't an Independent College Counselor. If he had been, T.S. would've clearly known that for pain, no month beats March.
March sees cuts of both the paper and psyche variety. Big fat envelopes arrive for one student, while the anemic pasty ones arrive for his neighbor--each student opening that envelope full of hope and promises. While one might find some hope for his future, the other might have a paper cut with which to remember his pain.
Yet, acceptances roll in too. This week alone I've heard from students of mine admitted to MIT, CalTech, USC (Cal), Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, UNC-Wilmington, FSU, Ohio State, USC (S. Car.), JMU, GMU. While there are still very eager students waiting to hear about UVA, Cornell, Harvey Mudd and other programs, the cries of happiness (and relief that at least they're going to a college) are satisfying as well.
No matter the final outcome--yes, no, waitlist--the process is mostly and finally over.
Except for paying for it, of course. That pain will linger for a while more.
A College Counselor who asks and answers the tough questions.