High school students often develop a seeming “college admissions filter”, assessing any experience (or potential experience) through “How will this help me with being admitted to college?” Many may be frustrated at such consideration, yet in my experience, such a mindset seems pervasive amongst teens.
Today’s high school students have heard messages like, “When you go to college…” or “Where are you going to college?” (rather than will you attend college?) since elementary school. While askers are well-intentioned, many are anxious that college seems to be their only path toward economic prosperity—The Golden Ticket.
Thus as rising high school seniors, many fear falling short of expectations, their own and those of others’, real and imagined. Some react to the pressure by working diligently on college applications and essays with varying degrees of informed strategizing, and some will simply procrastinate.
Parents can also be anxious about their children’s college prospects, impelled to help, yet few of us Gen X’ers or young Boomers may understand the pressures of the modern college admissions process from personal experience. Such a generational gap can only add complexity to the already complex college admissions process, as well as obstacles to families working together.
While objective, experienced guides can help families develop a strategy to navigate the complexities of the modern college admissions process, not every family can access such resources. Instead, families can seek credible sources of information, fostering candid and ongoing conversations with their teenagers, in order to work together. Thus, families can strive to make informed decisions and help their teens pursue their educational journey with confidence.
For over twenty years, Creative Marbles experts have moderated family conversations regarding complex educational decisions, lending our expertise to reduce the risk of malinvestment. For more information, contact us.