It is August, the beginning of a new senior year, the culmination of everyone’s hard work and the launching point for the future. It can also be a time of major anxiety for parents and students alike.
Instead of panic about the future, I encourage you to cultivate a joyful reflection of the past and a celebration of the present. It is so easy to worry excessively about where they will get into college, the poor grade they got a few years ago, the lack of honors, or even all the stages yet to be completed of the college application process. We have to accept that we’ve done our best and it is what it is. We can’t change the past, so we may as well stay composed and calm.
The fact of the matter is that there is no way to predict what the future holds, where your student will be accepted, whether they will be successful in their career or in their personal life. We can’t protect them from pain or failure, we can only pray for their wisdom and courage. We can surround them with our self-possessed stability and our loving encouragement.
If you homeschool, I encourage you to use the time spent creating the homeschool documents like the school profile and the counselor letter to remember all the wonderful things that happened through the years and the amazing development you’ve seen in your student. Cherish the fact that your child is still at home and you still have one more year of parenting them under your roof. There is growth still to happen before they leave home.
So, don’t get derailed by things out of your control. At this point in the game we need to stay focused on the task at hand, namely being there for our kid and helping them figure out how to apply to college.
In the crucible of college applications, we are actually modeling for them how to handle tough situations. If we come unhinged now, how can we expect them to navigate the turmoil of the college experience they are getting ready to enter? If we lose our sense of humor, how can we expect them to stay reasonable in adulthood?
Try to keep in mind that, in the big scheme of things, the college application process is a blip on the radar. We DO need to do it well, but we also need to maintain our balance and our perspective. Here are some tips on how to work through all your family has to accomplish:
- Work Well Ahead of Deadlines – Start now, in August, if you haven’t already. Know your due dates for college applications and scholarships.
- Work with a Plan – Establish target dates for completion of various components. Write all these down on a calendar. Start with the personal statement before all other essays. Start with your most important application first.
- Work Steadily – An hour or two a day always produces better results than a 14-hour all-nighter right before the deadline.
If you are overwhelmed and need college admissions assistance, we have a few slots left for Private Clients who are graduating in 2020. We’d love to talk to you about how we can help!
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