When you are freaking out, ask for help!

Photo by Hailshadow/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Hailshadow/iStock / Getty Images

Curious about the college application experience?  Me neither!  I just want to pretend it's not happening, but ready or not, here we go!  I have the courage to be imperfect and seeing as I don't have any actual common sense wisdom or inspiration on this topic, I am asking for help.  Please welcome PEP Certified Parent Educator and College Counselor, The College Lady, Wendie Lubic.  She is providing all the Nifty Tips in a Q & A format this week and I'm so grateful.

Paige:  If I gave you a magic wand, what’s the one thing you would change about the college application process?

Wendie: I would love to change it to a system where students put their profiles online and colleges send them bids. It would lower the pressure and give students the ability to be in the driver seat in terms of choosing what they want from their education. 

Paige: Where do parents get in the most mischief when they ‘help’ their kids?

Wendie: Expectations are a serious issue. When parents bring their egos and their dreams into the process, and try to push kids into applying to schools that are not appropriate (by pulling in all the influential recommenders they can muster), they run the risk of making their students feel inadequate. And when the kids don’t get in, they feel even worse… especially if the parents are mourning the loss, too. The bottom line is that if you care more than your student does, then there is something wrong with this equation. 

Paige: What can parents do, where can they go, if they are freaking out?

Wendie: 1. Keep your anxieties away from your child. They have their own worries, and need to know that you are confident that they will get in somewhere great. Your freak out will only make things worse. 

2. If you can, just forget about it, or only give it 10 minutes a day. If you can’t, pick one person to obsess to. They will let you know when you are going over the deep end. The issue is when parents obsess to EVERYONE in their lives, and still can’t let go. 

Paige: Is there a “very worst moment” in the application process we can all expect?

Wendie: Once the applications are in, and there is nothing left to do but wait. It can make even the most stable parent a little crazy. The kids are just trying to deal with it day by day, but parents are wigged out by the process being so far out of their control.

Paige: Leave us with something encouraging to think about . .. . . GO.

Wendie: Despite all the anxiety and the stress and the rejection, everyone ends up going somewhere great… usually the right school for them. If you make the choice thoughtfully. and not for weather, or a girl or boyfriend, you will probably end up loving wherever you land. 

Paige:  On behalf of all of us, thank you!  Nifty Tippers, check out Wendie's website for lots more information and resources, The College Lady.