If your student has just started their senior year and summer has been busy, you have likely found yourself in the situation of staring down the gun barrel of college applications. It is the time of year that parents begin to panic and kids wonder where the time will come from to actually write essays and fill out all that paperwork. Here are some hints at how to move forward in the next months:
1. Stay calm. Regardless of how stressful this year becomes, always remember that your relationship with your kids is your first priority. Many of my private clients ask that I step into the supervisor role in order to save their own relationship with their children during this demanding time.
2. Make lists. Look at all your student’s target colleges and make a spreadsheet of all deadlines for each school (scholarships, application, honors program, etc.). Spend some time with the Common Application or other required applications and pull all the essay topics into one list to see what you have and what needs to be written.
3. Eliminate the extra. While colleges value a long commitment to activities and it is important to show a full four years of participation, it might be possible to stay in the activity, yet decrease a student’s role and time commitment. Perhaps a busy debater moves from actively traveling to tournaments and competing every weekend to coaching other students once a week. Maybe the founder of an organization steps away from planning and executing all events to mentoring their replacement by just providing oversight.
4. Don’t procrastinate. You will live to regret any decision to hold off until the holidays to do the heavy lifting on college applications. It is better to take the slow and steady approach through the fall and chip away at the list whenever possible. It will ensure better college applications and a much happier home life!
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