It’s Crazy Jitters Time in College Admissions

images 1 Its Crazy Jitters Time in College AdmissionsI’ve gone into counselor mode these past two weeks as the days creep into spring and college decisions are looming.  It doesn’t help that this has been a long, hard, cold winter for most of us in the US and that it keeps wanting to snow even as the crocuses fight their way to the sun. Parents are calling me daily, asking what else they can do to drive the decision their child’s way.  Unfortunately, I say, there is nothing to be done. It’s waiting time.

I offer them my best metaphors about the nature of life and cycles, reminding them that the seeds have been planted and now we must wait.  They hate that, almost to the person.  And I know why.

Waiting is hard.  Waiting is scary.  Waiting is uncertain.  Waiting is life.

As I hang up from these calls, and feel inadequate because I can’t fix their anxiety, I recall the many times I’ve had to wait in uncertainty.  Just a few years ago, waiting for the results of a biopsy, for example, I could hardly stand it and could really only rest when I knew that all was well.  So I understand the experience.  Uncertainty is just so hard for human beings.

All I can offer here for advice is to keep busy and do whatever you can to keep spirits up.  Remember that just as SATs are not a reflection of who your child IS, neither is a college decision.  It might help to look at your child tonight and remember what you love about them. And look at yourself in the mirror to tell yourself firmly that a college decision is not a reflection on you or your parenting.

We parents have a tendency to take this event way too personally, for better and for worse.

Most importantly, remind yourself that it’s just college.  No more, no less.  Just the next step of a long life that will be filled with curve balls and big surprises.  Best your child learn resilience now.

Less Stress, More Success

"Her book has added to her reputation as a kind of guru of the movement to tame the college admissions frenzy.”
New York Times
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Our book group just read your book and it sparked more conversation than we’ve had in the seven years we’ve been reading together. Being successful professionals with busy lives and even busier children, we’re all trying to figure out how to find the time to just stop and enjoy our lives amidst so much pressure. Some of us find ourselves quoting you to our husbands and kids now, so you are our hero. ;-)
Sophia N. and Nancy R.

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