Senior year is here and everyone, including me, has opinions and advice. My advice after going through the process with four kids and children of friends and family over the past 10 years: Stay focused ONLY on your child not your child’s classmates!
Your child may push you away, tell you “This is my process and I got it”, share everything or nothing. There will be yelling and crying. No way can you devote energy focusing on anyone elses college choices!
Yes, you have a wonderful, intelligent child and no one knows him or her better than you, but they have to work with their schools college counselor for better or worse and that’s another reason why worrying about another student is a waste of time. (There are times you may have to seek a private counselor, but that’s a whole other article!) You, as the parent, should oversee the list your child and counselor put together to affirm that it best suits YOUR child not only academically but socially and emotionally, so comparing his/her list with their friends makes no sense.
People will ask you where your child is applying, but it isn’t your business to share.
Keep it private, the need to know team (TNTKT) consists of your child, you, the college counselor and the common application – no one else. The advice to give to your child when people ask where they are applying – because they will ask – “I am applying to a variety of schools as I am learning about myself.”
In my experience, who your child is in September of senior year is not the same child when it is time to make the decision in May – another important reason to select a variety of schools.
Remember, the college process is a crap shoot, your child has prepared for it since middle school, has taken the tests, written the essays, completed the applications all in time and finally hit ‘submit’. Now it’s all up to the college to make the final decision. Your new job is to wait patiently and to realize that where your child is accepted or rejected from is the best outcome.