By Alyssa Evans
It is that time of year when the pressures start to mount, and the college application process begins. Applying to college can be a stressful time for the whole family and for many it can induce anxiety and conflict. There are major decisions, deadlines, and high expectations associated with the college application process. Can you imagine facing this without becoming stressed out?
Here is a list of tips and tools to assist families and their seniors mental, physical, and emotional needs so they can make the most of their senior year:
- Helping your high school senior create a schedule: It can help make the process seem less daunting to break the process down into baby steps. Create a list that will allow your senior to focus on one section of the application process at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
- Don’t hesitate to reach out for help: Many parents and seniors alike, feel that they should have it all figured out and that they are the only one feeling overwhelmed and unsure. This is simply not the case and it is okay to ask for help when you need it. There are teachers, school counselors, therapists, and friends who are familiar with the process and can help guide you in the right direction.
- Have realistic expectations: With so many choices and great schools to choose from it is important to develop a small list of schools that are realistic in location, financial and academic ability. There are many websites that provide the admission statistics for different Universities where your senior can identify those schools that align with their personal needs.
- Talk about money: For many families, financial pressures and strain can be a topic that is difficult to navigate. As a parent, it is important to talk about the financial considerations that must be made. Will your child be responsible for taking out student loans? Helping your child understand the financial limitations ahead of their college selection is imperative. In addition, many seniors avoid applying for scholarships because they simply do not think they qualify, however, that is not the case. One rule of thumb is: Go for no. Apply to at least three scholarships.
- Don’t forget to make memories and have fun: With all the pressure and deadlines, it is easy to forget to stop and smell the roses with your senior. Don’t forget that no matter where they choose and what college they get into the reality is with the right leadership and tools they will succeed. Cherishing these fleeting moments with your soon to be adult should be the priority.
In summary, it is okay for young adults to need additional guidance and a little push to make the deadlines. Helping seniors stay organized and manage their time can be essential to their success. Take a deep breath parents, you are doing a great job!
NextGen Counseling, PLLC located in Flower Mound has a heart and passion for assisting young adults in the transition to college. Our team of fully qualified therapists would love to talk to you or your loved ones struggling with anxiety, depression, life transitions, self-injury, suicidal ideation, grief and more. Visit us on the web at www.nextgencounseling.org or contact us directly at 940-228-2171 to see how we can best help you today.