Story Time with Ms. Goodman: It All Works Out

Media provided by Fiona Miller ‘26 

Andie Goodman is beloved by the Grace community for her upbeat and positive attitude. She is the Assistant Director of the College Office, as well as a 10th–grade advisor.

Ms. Goodman, prompted by the question, “When was a challenging time when you wished you could have told your younger self what to do?” describes the life lessons she learned from her college application days.  

Fiona M. ‘26:   Please share a story about a challenging time when you wish you could have told your younger self what to do. 

Ms. Goodman: Okay, so I think that this is particularly funny and important for me because of my job at Grace. But, I’m Ms. Goodman. I work in college counseling, … I think that I was drawn to this field because of my own personal experience when coming to,  or when applying to college. So when I was in high school, like many other students, I obviously had my eyes set on one specific school.

There were other schools that I was kind of excited about, but I really put my eggs into one basket, which is … what we tell kids not to do, or students not to do. … I won’t name the institution, but basically, I had visited twice. I was absolutely obsessed, and literally everybody in my high school knew that I was obsessed with this school. 

Even friends from around my surrounding area knew that I was applying there early decision. I was obsessed, like I needed to go. It was all I talked about. So then I put in my application, whatever, and the day I knew it was coming out I was pretty unwell because I was very anxious.

I went to school that day but my calculus teacher in high school … I don’t know, we just didn’t really get along, because he was very chill and I’m not super chill usually…  I liked more of a strict teacher and he was so chill, that I felt I wasn’t learning that much.

I don’t know …  that I wasn’t learning, but I just didn’t feel super challenged and that bothered me. With hindsight, I should have just taken the chill teacher and ran with that. But he would get up before school and surf before school. He was very chill. 

Fiona M. ‘26: Wait, where did you live?

Ms. Goodman: In Long Island… yeah. So, there was an ocean. He lived on the ocean, so he would go surfing before school. … And then he’d come to school and be like, “Hey, everyone!” Like, whatever. And, like, teach us calculus. And I was like “Sir, I need a little bit more structure.” But anyways, that’s not the point of the story.

So it was in calculus, I remember. And he was just being like himself, and I was getting very frustrated. And I … literally just picked up and left the classroom. And I texted my mom, I was like, “I need to leave.” And she was like, “okay.” So she called the school and I left. I was so stressed. And I drove myself to this pottery studio. …  It’s one of those where you pick up a thing that’s already created and you just paint it and they bake it. 

Fiona M. ’26: Oh I love that!

Ms. Goodman: Me too. Bake it in a kiln for you. So, … in hindsight I actually think [it] was a really good activity because I was …  able to do some art therapy. I killed probably two hours there and really got to distract myself before the big news was coming out. So, that was actually good.

So, I would tell my younger self to definitely find good coping mechanisms to help you with anxiety, and that was a great one. So I did that. And then basically, I got home and just kind of waited around with my parents… and then I got the decision around like 6 p.m. And my friends all knew it was coming out.

So, they were waiting down the street. I think my mom literally got balloons in the school’s colors. My friends got me … a cookie cake in the school’s colors. But it said “Everything happens for a reason,” so even if I didn’t get in, it would still apply because like “everything happens for a reason,” if I get in, or if I don’t get in. But, it was in the colors because they were like wishfully thinking that I would get in. And then obviously, I got rejected and I was just distraught, like whatever, but I decided that I wasn’t gonna just sit home all night sad, so my friends ended up coming over and we … had just like a life celebration. It wasn’t like  a celebration for me … It was just like a celebration for having friends, a celebration for being alive, a celebration for just doing, being, going through life, you know?

So we did that, and they came over and they like got me in the shower. They did my hair for me because I was pretty distraught. And every 15 minutes I would just like start crying, whatever. But anyways, I was actually okay that day. It was just like, it was, it was just really sad and I think I reacted somewhat appropriately.

And then, throughout the rest of the college process, … I got a bunch of deferrals after that. So then, I was pretty distraught from that, probably more than my regular ED that I was hoping for.  But then, at the end of January, I got into the school that I ended up going to, which was a college that I never really thought I would get into. I did, and it was the biggest surprise, so that was … so exciting.

Fiona M ‘26: And, what school was that? 

Ms. Goodman: I went to UVA, University of Virginia. … And, that was a school that I literally was like, I’m not going to. My guidance counselor was like, the only reason I was saying I was not going there was because I … didn’t really know anyone that had gone there, which was stupid.

So naive and stupid at the time. Now knowing what the school is, it was so great, incredible, the best school for me. But, my guidance counselor was like, you’re applying there. You need to. And I was like, okay. I listened to her. So, listen to your school counselors, or listen to your college counselors.

And I listened to her, and I applied, and I got in, and I was like, oh my god, oh my god, it was crazy! And, I visited, I loved it, and I went. And, it was so great. And then, when I was there, I met my best friends, I met my boyfriend from there … that I’m still dating. …  Literally changed the course of my life in the best way. And it was something that I, if you asked me at the beginning of 12th grade if I thought I would go to that school, … I would have said no. That would probably be the least likely school that I attend on my college list. And it’s where I ended up going, and it was … the best decision I’ve ever made. 

I think I would just tell my younger self to really trust the process. I know that is obviously easier to say with perspective. But, after hearing my story, it wasn’t super dramatic, but I think I added some nice dramatic flair. I would say just trust the process. Listen to your college counselors.

This is not a plug for us, but listen to them. And it all works out. And that’s, I would just say that with life in general too. … I feel like there’s been so many times where I’ve gotten myself worked up about a decision that was ultimately not in my control. And I think being able to pivot, being resilient, and … just trusting the process, has gotten me to where I am. 

Fiona Miller ‘26, the author, is a staff writer for The Grace Gazette and a member of Ms. Goodman’s advisory.