Thursday, December 9, 2010
Crunch Time in College Admissions
Visit my web site
AAURGH! The primal scream (outdoors of course) is sometimes a good stress release for seniors in the final stages of applying to college. Aaron (a senior I know) runs up and down the stairs as fast as he can to try and relax. Why is it so bad? For one thing students now apply on average to 7 colleges which complicates the process. Heavy competition also translates into stress with over 1 million more applicants than a decade ago. So how to release stress? Squeezing a funky shaped stress ball (like my penguin) can help with typing fatigue. Many students de-stress by exercising prior to returning to their applications. Rocking out to music also helps get the kinks out.
Parents need to be supportive at this crunch time. What does that mean? In this case, it means offering to help the student as needed (except in writing essays). Offering is the key word. Forcing unwanted help on the student can result in blow-ups. Reminding students of things they need to do without nagging is an art and a necessary art for parents at this stage of the admissions process. Using a mode of communication that is least annoying for the student is best whether this is post-it notes or text messages. Comfort food can also help. Favorite foods like warm chocolate chip cookies can definitely improve the whole mood around the application activity. Contacting guidance about missing pieces of the application can also relieve some of the pressure on students.
College applications are due when they are due. This is a shock to many high school students who have easily received extensions on high school work. The consequences of a late or incomplete application are quite harsh. Most college admissions offices are too swamped to let students know personally that their application is incomplete. Generally, when other students are getting acceptance letters, those who have missed deadlines or failed to check on their applications will just receive a rejection letter from the colleges stating either that the application was too late to be processed or that parts of the application were missing.
Buckling down and finishing the applications can be hard for some procrastinators. Mary is an self-acknowledged procrastintor and she deals with it by giving herself a small reward for every section of the common application that she completes. I say whatever it takes, students need to get those applications complete at least a week before the deadlines. Josh (and others) waited until the night before the applications were do to send them out. AAURGH! An inside primal scream this time. "The server is down due to unsccheduled maintenance." Avoid the indoor primal scream. Submit early!