If you are the parent of a senior in high school, you are living through the college application process right now. There can be a lot of stress during this time—for you and for your student. Hang in there. Here are a few tips to help make this time a little easier:
1. Talk about something other than college applications. The most common questions posed to high school seniors are about college plans, major plans, career plans, etc. So many plans! It can be overwhelming and sometimes students just shut down from the pressure. Back your student up over the holiday dinner table when Uncle Charlie and Aunt Becky (pun intended) start asking the questions. Your student might need a save and welcome a change of subject!
2. Use the resources available to you. Guidance counselors, college planners, and admissions officers may be able to answer questions and provide support you need to help your student. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice from the experts!
3. Speaking of experts. . . don’t get stressed out by consuming too many opinions about the process—from other parents at cocktail parties, sporting events, church, etc. I get more calls from potential clients on Monday mornings than any other time of the week. We all worry about our kids and it can be overwhelming when we hear about all the things other parents seem to know about or are doing for their children. You are a good parent!!!
4. Love each other through the process. The value and worth of your child and you as a parent have nothing to do with which college they attend or what scores they earn on a standardized test.
5. Talk openly to your student about realities of cost and location considerations. It feels unnatural to deny our children an academic opportunity, but it is always better to set the parameters early and make sure everyone is on the same page.