The Cinderella Syndrome

The Cinderella Syndrome

By Marilee Jones

Remember the story of Cinderella?  Raised by her jealous stepmother, she was treated very poorly by the family because she was beautiful.  Naturally, as in all good fairy tales, her Fairy Godmother intervened and made some miracles so that Cinderella could secretly attend the palace ball where the Handsome Prince was looking to pick a wife.  Cinderella’s ugly step-sisters hoped that he would notice and pick one of them, but then he saw our heroine, they danced, midnight came and in her haste to leave before turning back into her original raggedy self, she lost her glass slipper.  The Prince, frantic to find her again, took that shoe to every house in the kingdom where there were females, which brings us to the point of this story.  When approached to try on the slipper, the Ugly Step-Sisters each tried to jam their foot into the slipper, trying desperately to be someone they were not.

I witnessed this phenomenon in college admissions all the time. In their applications, students try to be who they think admissions officers want them to be.  They try to jam their foot into that glass slipper, trying so hard to be picked as ‘the one’, when in reality, they actually just need to be who they are.  The whole point of the college admissions process is to identify the match between student and school, between Cinderella and Prince Charming.  The good news is that there are several Prince Charmings for every Cinderella, several colleges for every applicant, and the secret lies in finding a match.  That can only happen when the applicant makes every effort to be himself or herself throughout the process, having the courage to wear their own glass slipper.

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Our book group just read your book and it sparked more conversation than we’ve had in the seven years we’ve been reading together. Being successful professionals with busy lives and even busier children, we’re all trying to figure out how to find the time to just stop and enjoy our lives amidst so much pressure. Some of us find ourselves quoting you to our husbands and kids now, so you are our hero. ;-)
Sophia N. and Nancy R.

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