The college process can bring up some complicated feelings for both students and parents, and there are different ways students express themselves. In this blog, we outline three “typical” difficult students and tell you what is really going on. We also tell you how you can have these conversations with your kids, and how Apply Right can help.
The student who is dragging his/her feet
We hear about this a lot. Parents will call us and say, “He hasn’t done anything for the college application process yet!” or “She says she wants to go to college, but she’s taken no steps to fill out applications.” Although this is common, it’s still concerning. For many students, the college application process is the biggest hurdle they’ve ever had to face. It’s the “portal” to adulthood, and even taking one step in that direction can feel scary. The student who is dragging his or her feet may be feeling normal anxiety about adulthood, putting themselves out there, or being rejected. However, it’s also possible that the student, deep down, is having reservations about whether or not college is right for them. Think back 30 years ago; there wasn’t the pressure there is today for everyone to go to college. Many families and students think it’s the obvious next step, but a student dragging their heels may be trying to say, “I’m not so sure.” Apply Right counselors are counselors first. We care about our students and families and want our students to be successful in college. We can have those difficult conversations with students, or help a family come together if everyone is not on the same page.
The student who is highly anxious
Some students feel extremely stressed and anxious about the college application process. They may wonder if ANY school will accept them, perseverate on the details of their applications, get writer’s block when it comes to the ever-important essay, or want to visit every school from here to Hawaii, just in case they miss the one. For these students, it’s important to help them keep things in perspective. We encourage students to have a balanced college list so that they will get in somewhere. And, missing a comma in your essay is not going to keep you out of your dream school. While we hope students attend the best possible college for them, we remind them that it’s much more important what they do when they get there. For students who get anxious about the details, or worry about the worst cases, Apply Right can help. We are available to answer any and all questions, and can help students understand what is truly important as opposed to what isn’t. Since we are College Admission Experts, students will likely take our advice and suggestions more readily than those of their parents.
The student who is keeping things close to the vest
For many students, getting into college is a way of proving themselves to their parents. They may think it’s so important to their parents that they forget to listen to the “we will love you no matter what” message (and maybe parents forget to say it?). Regardless, the college process can cause tension between students and parents, especially when the student won’t tell the parents what is happening. Parents then feel out of the loop and get more anxious. It’s a vicious cycle. Apply Right can help by acting as an intermediary. Students can video conference with us on their own and then we can let parents know what has taken place. You wouldn’t tutor your son in Math, would you? Hire a College Counselor to help!
These conversations can be difficult, but they are important. Apply Right is happy to help!