College conversations for seniors—now what?
As parents we often feel the same range of emotions our children feel during stressful times. During this college decision season it is no different. We get anxious, worried, elated, disconcerted and confused just like our sons and daughters.
As a mom who has been there, I have some suggestions for Families of High School seniors:
Take a deep breath.
Some students have already heard from Early Decision, Early Action and Rolling Decision schools and we know that for all the other students, the waiting is torturous. I can attest to the fact that we are spending every waking hour reading applications and in meetings in order to make the best possible decisions – hang in there!
Parents -your role is to step back and support your child. The admission decision is not a reflection on your parenting –how you react, is. Give your son or daughter space to absorb all of the decisions, to process the news. Be available for hugs, support & guidance. Allow her/him to take the lead.
Seniors– Decide now how you want to proceed as admission decisions become available.
Will you check your admission status in the quiet of your own room; with family and friends nearby; or in the middle of a coffee shop? (Don’t do it in the middle of calculus on your smartphone!)
Will you share all of your admission decisions with all of your friends and extended family?
Think about how you want to hear from your friends as their decisions begin to roll in – be honest with each other so you take care of each other’s feelings and emotions.
Once Admission Decisions are in, now what?
Step back and take it all in. Some of the decisions will put you on cloud nine. Others will not. Once you know where you have been admitted, decide if you can visit those schools.
If you can visit, plan to spend time on campus to meet current students, attend a class or two, take a campus tour, and get all of your questions answered. Do you need to meet with someone in a specific academic department, the Financial Aid Office, an athletic coach, or person in the music/art/drama department? Plan ahead and give yourself time to see if the university is a match for you.
If you are unable to visit, get on-line. Join blogs with other admitted students, email current students and faculty to get your questions answered. Contact people who can answer your questions (academic departments, residence life office, financial aid office, athletics, etc.), and do your research thoroughly.
This is the student’s opportunity to decide on the school that is the best fit. (Remember parents, you aren’t going to college! I know it is easy to share your thoughts and opinions – try to hold back and let your son or daughter make this decision).
Let’s chat! Do you have thoughts or concerns about how to proceed once you receive the admission decisions? Feel free to share your insights with other families going through this exciting and challenging time.