Parent College Coach #76: Expect the Unexpected

expect the unexpected

If you’re a Big Brother fan you know the line: expect the unexpected. When it comes to parenting a college bound teen, it is the perfect sentiment.

No matter how much you plan or prepare, there are going to be bumps in the road and surprises along the way.

Your student may express interest in one college, then suddenly announce he is no longer interested. You may go on a college visit and your student may announce she is not getting out of the car because she’s “just not feeling it.” Your student may announce one day that he’s decided not to go to college but take a gap year instead.

Whatever the situation or circumstance, the college admissions process is anything but exact. There are twists and turns and tough decisions to make that can cause tempers to flare and emotions to explode. It’s your opinion versus your student’s and you may not be on the same page all the time. Her idea of a college may be one where her friends are attending. Your idea of a college will most likely be one that’s going to offer the best bang for your buck.

Decide now to “go with the flow” and allow the exploration. Your student is preparing to enter the next phase of her life and it will be a difficult decision to make, and one that is highly emotional. You should be the stabilizer, the port in the storm, and the voice of reason. But don’t be the dictator! This is ultimately going to be his or her decision. They will have to attend the college they choose—not you!

Parents – Want more Parent tips? GET THEM HERE!

Check out my guide for parents: Parents Countdown to College Crash Course

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Author: Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer advises parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation at She is excited to share her knowledge with the readers of Smart College Visit.

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