"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."
We all do it. It could be taxes, an impending work deadline, or a home improvement project. At one time or another we procrastinate. Why not delay a decision or an action until the very last possible moment? I have been evading my blog all fall and know how very real procrastination is.
The final college application deadline is looming and many young adults are finding creative ways to avoid finishing their college applications. Rooms may be clean, dishes washed, homework completed early, and they may even be up to date on current events! It is human nature. If we are afraid of making a mistake, if a task is difficult, if it is time-consuming, or if we fear the end result we procrastinate. For many students the college application process is all of these things.
As parents how can you help? If you find your son or daughter avoiding the elephant in the room (and it most likely won’t be Jumbo our mascot), you can assist by encouraging him to identify what is holding him back. Is it an essay she is struggling with? Is it logistical and he just doesn’t know how to gather all of the correct information, or how to begin? Are you or other adults putting on too much pressure so she is taking control by not doing anything at all? Is he afraid he will make a mistake? Once she knows the source or sources of the log-jam try to help her break the application down into manageable pieces. Encourage him to take each section of the application and complete one section at a time. It’s amazing how much easier it feels!
If you find that you, or other adults, have inserted yourselves into the college application process I encourage you to step away now. Often our concern, suggestions, insights, and shared wisdom are seen as an intrusion, or provide added stress. Your daughter needs the independence and the knowledge that you believe she can do this on her own. Your son will thrive knowing you trust him to succeed. Our job as parents is to support and provide a safe haven for our children in the midst of a crazy, pressure filled senior year. Encourage your son or daughter to establish an earlier deadline in order to complete the application(s) in a timely fashion so the process doesn’t hijack the entire family dynamic.
Ultimately as parents we need to let our children sink or swim. The application process is theirs and they will feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment once they have completed the applications and have met the deadline.