As a first time mom to a high school senior, this time of year is fraught with challenges. Our kids are consumed, not only with a heavy workload from school, but also facing a critical question of” what’s next”? Where they go to college and what programs they choose can potentially affect their future, if not affect it completely it will influence them for years to come.
It’s a time of anxiety, a time of keeping secrets and an unbelievable amount of” in your face” college marketing. Technology has certainly made some things easier (online common application) while at the same time can consume you to over research your choices.
Having spent my college years in Canada prior to moving to the US, I realize times have changed but I wonder if its better? Kids workload and the need to maintain that first half GPA along with completing the process on time for early action, early decision and regular admission is enough to drive you a little crazy. With college efforts to “diversify” the geographical student population, mums the word on where you are applying. At a time when kids need their friends, they all see m to be hush on certain topics until everything is filed.
In a recent New York Times article, authored by Eric Hoover, Application Inflation: when Is Enough Enough?
By ERIC HOOVER
Do colleges really need 30,000 applications to find 1,500 great students?
Mr Hoover examines the marketing efforts by colleges to play the numbers game, hoping to get the brightest and best students. Some of their efforts may be informative, others interpreted as misleading and “un” eco-friendly for others. At my home alone, we have been recipients of large frequent mailings over the past year. The on-line version of this is even greater.
I offer 4 pieces of advice.
1) Stay calm. Your role modeling at this juncture is key. They will reflect what they see. They see enough anxiety at school, don’t let it get into the house.
2) Keep your college choice a secret if that’s what your kids want. As difficult as this may be sometimes, try to honor their wish. I’ve been interrogated several times to divulge the list and strategy. Without being rude, you need to let people know its a work in progress and move on. What Is interesting is the people who ask are not always the people you know best.
3) Sift through the mail as I do and remove materials that are not even on the radar. Why paper them to death. They need to focus on their work and you need to help them. The shear weight of what you receive will do anything to get you in anywhere.
4) Have fun. As much as possible, enjoy this journey. After all, it’s their last year at home and you have limited time with them moving forward.