College Decisions Are on the Way

Don't let the stress get to you.

The pressure is mounting for high school seniors as they await decisions from colleges. Many schools post notification dates of early April on their websites, while some, like Brown which promises March 28, will let students know even earlier. For many, the pressure can be almost unbearable. Jack Brodsky, a senior at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, has been doing his best to focus on his other interests, but finds it harder as the day approaches.

Hillary Hewins, director of College Counseling at Leman, explains this anxiety: "This is the first time that they're no longer in control of the process." A decrease in admissions rates has also added anxiety to the process, leading many to apply to more schools than ever before.

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As the Moment Approaches, Remember to Keep a Positive Outlook

Keep a positive outlook!

As the date approaches for you to finally receive a decision from colleges after months, perhaps years for some (especially parents), of waiting, many will have pearls of wisdom to share with you both before and after one of the tensest moments of your life.

Of course we have our own opinions on how important it is to maintain a positive outlook and remember to see the bigger picture. After all, what you will walk away with from your college experience, wherever you end up going, is really about what you put into it.

Our own acumen aside, perhaps the best (and most entertaining) counsel we’ve heard, is a letter addressed to seniors written by Mitch Albom, writer for McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. Check it out. You won’t regret it, and you might even have a few laughs! Nothing like bringing humor into a situation to keep things in perspective.

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Where Does the Tiger Mother Fit into the College Application Process?

Do you have a tiger mother?

Controversy has been intense over Amy Chua’s memoir entitled Tiger Mother. Chua depicts herself as a highly demanding if not overbearing mother who pressures her children to fulfill her own image of success, many have argued, to the point of endangering her daughters’ mental and social development. While her children do achieve outstanding external results including maintaining high grades and excelling musically, it must be asked, at what cost?

As children mature and demand back control of their own lives from their overly-invested parents, a power struggle undoubtedly ensues. The college process can be seen as the last great clash in which children entering the new epoch of adulthood, expect to exercise their own right to choose, while parents remain reluctant to relinquish their parental clout. Parents, still at the financial helm, are often able to wield some influence in the area of college decisions, and often don’t refrain from trying.

Valerie Strauss recounts a humorous anecdote shared by Teege Mettille, assistant admissions director at Lawrence University, of what she calls an “ultimate helicopter mom” in her article in The Washington Post. Accustomed to parents calling to schedule admissions interviews, even Mettille was surprised when a parent who had just scheduled an interview for her son and began expressing her interest in the school suddenly stopped and said, “Wait….he [my son] doesn’t need to be here for this, does he?”

As seniors and their parents begin hearing back from colleges and making important decisions on where to attend, experts suggest that they open up honest lines of communication. Parents should remember that students are the ones who ultimately have to spend their four years on the chosen campus, and students have to consider their parents' decade-long effort to pay for college. It is hard for parents to let go, but it is equally important that they recognize that this is perhaps the biggest step their children will take on their way to an independent adulthood.

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