It’s September, which means application season and school are officially in full swing! In light of this, I wanted to share ideas for how parents can help students during the coming months. College applications can be work intensive and stressful, but with a team of supporters, students will come out stronger and more mature on the other end!
Acknowledge their workload
Senior year is an unbelievably busy time! Let your student know you understand how much is on their plate. Gently remind them that they are at a transition point between teenage and adult life, so an increased workload is natural. It’s also helpful to acknowledge that today’s teens are under more pressure than ever, so the stress they are feeling is real and justifiable.
Post deadlines, events and To-Dos in a public place
Some families find that posting a calendar or To-Dos list and application deadlines in a central place helps keep the student motivated and on task. This creates a family-centered team mentality, which helps the student feel supported.
Complete some tasks with them
Filling out the apps … sending test scores … setting up interviews … these are tedious but necessary parts of applying. Many students enjoy having someone by their side while they do it. Furthermore, there will be many parent questions, scheduling questions and fees to pay, so having you there can speed things up!
Make sure they sleep and de-stress
I can’t overemphasize this enough! It’s well-known that today’s teens don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation and chronic stress do affect performance and health. Although you can’t force them to go to bed, you can encourage it. Let them take time regularly to just hang out with their friends, or whatever helps them relax – they’ll come back refreshed and ready to work more efficiently.
Be their cheerleader
Positive words go a long way! Take the time daily to celebrate each success and show your student that you believe in them. Assure them that they will still be successful in life even if they aren’t admitted to their dream college.
And finally – remember that college applications can be just as stressful for parents as it is for students! This is an important and often emotional time, as the young person you have spent the past 17 years raising prepares to take their first big step into adult life. (Not to mention, you’ll be the one footing the bill!) Acknowledge all that you are going through, have conversations with other parents, and give yourself time to de-stress.
Here’s to a successful application season!