Right about now, junior parents’ anxieties about college applications begin rising. Thus, they begin asking, imploring, nagging, begging, commanding their 16 or 17 year old teenager to discuss the details of their college plans. However, juniors may resist their parents’ attempts to initiate conversation about their futures—mostly demonstrated by not applying for summer programs, not identifying colleges for application, not discussing potential majors…etc. Thus, two opposing camps can be established creating the potential for conflict.
Parents can misconstrue their children’s inaction or inexactness as a lack of motivation or lack of interest in college. Frustration may ensue, as parents believe they’re “being more responsible for their kid’s future, than the kid” and “wishing that their kid would engage in planning their own future more.” Yet, juniors, in their youthful naivety, may believe that there’s “plenty of time” before applications in the fall, so are not impelled to act just yet.
On the part of both parties is a mis-understanding of the actual complexities of college admissions. Parents may fear that college applications are more complex to navigate, while juniors may underestimate the complexities of having to articulate their life’s experiences for the applications. In truth, the work to complete the college application process occurs in fits and starts, and there is no one “right” way to engage the process.
Yet, the more students take time now to understand their ability and align that ability with a set of colleges for application, the greater likelihood for success.
…in a 2006 Canadian study, researchers followed 80,574 students in eighty-seven colleges during a five-year period and showed that good grades are related to having a major close to one’s personality.” Liz Freedman, Butler University, June 28, 2013
The marathon of college admissions is only in the warm-ups before the race. Pace yourselves. Over the continuing conversations throughout the entire application period, more awarenesses will reveal themselves. In the meantime, be gentle.
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