A Parent’s Guide: Supporting A Rising Senior during the College Admissions Process

Amidst the stress of the college admissions process, parents may be inclined to dive into college applications and essays, while teenagers may display disinterest or hesitation, leading to conflicts. As a parent, it is important to pause and reflect on how your teenager reacts in stressful situations and what forms of support have been effective in the past. 

When in strategic retreat, parents can first assess their own expectations for their teen’s college plans, possibly individually then together. Being rigorously honest with oneself then with each other, parents can identify areas of agreement and any questions or concerns to be addressed during the admissions process to establish a shared perspective.

Then, initiate candid conversations with teenagers, focused on listening more than asking questions. Approach these discussions with empathy, recognizing that teenagers are exploring questions about their uncertain future and may be anxious about their aspirations.

Alternately, parents can encourage teens to share their hesitations or reasons for not engaging in the college admissions process. Encourage your teen to express their ideas and any concerns they may have about engaging in the college admissions process.

Establishing an ongoing dialogue, both teens and parents can begin defining their respective roles in the college application process. For example, what (if any) editorial support a parent can (or does a teen want) when crafting their essays? By understanding each other’s expectations and dialoging, parents and teenagers can find effective ways to collaborate.

Creative Marbles was founded by teachers who appreciate helping students craft insightful essays, first in the academic classroom, now as part of the complex college admissions process. For more information, please contact us

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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