To the students:
College admission can get very stressful. The pressure can drive you to the edge of being broken down. That’s why getting your parents involved is essential. Not only being parents, they are the closest mentors to guide you pass the anxiety of future preparation.
First rule: Parents are the first and last ones in this world to help you unconditionally
You can argue that your parents don’t really understand you. That might be true but not all the time. Parents can offer guidance or opinions in creating college lists, financial aid applications, and other college-related issues. It’s simply because they may have already been there and done that.
Second rule: The information resource is right next to you
Some students already have a defined dream and set goals for their choice of major. Some students are yet to know the direction they want to head and that calls for parents’ help. Parents shouldn’t choose your major, but they can give you reality facts. You may change your major many times in college, but learning this information from parents can give you a better idea in making decisions.
Third rule: Don’t exclude them, they are paying for you
Although it does not apply to all cases, parents are generally the ones providing financial support. Therefore, you should discuss with them which colleges would be best for your financial situation, especially if you need to apply for financial aid or loans.
To the parents:
Many of you have gone through the college admission process, you faced and overcame the difficulty in both academic path and life. It makes you the ideal source of help for your children’s admission process.
First rule: Don’t be forceful. Your child’s happiness is all that matters.
Don’t let yourself think that you pay for the tuition and you have the right to get involved. That’s not all true. What you like is not what your children like. If they don’t like it, they won’t be able to succeed.
Second rule: Don’t make decisions for them.
You will soon send your children off to college. You won’t be physically next to them all the time to get them out of trouble. Children have to experience hardship to grow. College admissions is the mere first step of real-life entrance. It is, without a doubt, stressful, chaotic, and overwhelming. However, let your children make their own decisions. You are only the helpers; thus, you should be there for them but don’t make choices on their behalf.
Third rule: Provide help with areas children still lack in experience
Your children are only high school seniors and they can’t know everything. You should consistently encourage and remind them to do more research about different aspects of schools and see which might be best for them. Education is important but their well-being is all that matters.
—Written by Tran Nguyen – Activities Coach and Student Experience Coordinator at Spark Prep—