As we reflect on the year, we think of what a former colleague said that we carry with us every day–and more than ever applies to our students. She was going through a particularly difficult time in her life because of a recent cancer diagnosis (she beat it and is healthy now), but as she began to share her journey and vulnerability with all of us, she reminded the room that, “Everyone has a story. Lead with kindness. You never know what someone is going through.”
We always discuss how our clients continue to amaze us with their tenacity empathy, and positivity in a particular moment in time that has been filled with pivoting and adversity. We are proud to know all of you and watch you grow, flourish, and share your own “stories” during your college application journey.
Our own students lead with kindness as they are rocks for their friends and family, helping them navigate through challenging times. They initiate service endeavors that permanently impact their local and larger communities in need. They create podcasts so others feel less alone and do research on topics that will help ensure a better tomorrow for all. They mentor. They teach. They learn. They ask. They listen. And although at times it can feel like a nearly impossible undertaking, they learn to be kind to themselves.
So as we make our way through 2023 ask yourself...
What are ways to be kind to yourself? You can take a break from an intense study session and do something you love such as dance, watch a short YouTube video on Formula 1, make a Fantasy trade, read a chapter in a book, or do some aimless sketching.
What are ways to be kind to a friend or family member? You can bake for them on their birthday or just to let them know you are thinking of them (or buy them a treat if baking isn't your thing). You can reach out with a recommendation for a book, song, or Netflix binge that you think they would appreciate. You can listen.
What are ways to be kind to the world? You can volunteer at a food bank, shelter, or nursing home; lead a clean-up at a local park or beach; or spread awareness by writing a blog or creating a social media post about a cause that's important to you.
We look forward to hearing how you "lead with kindness" in the upcoming year.
Lisa, Stefanie, and the CBM Team