Parent College Coach Tip #2: Be a Helper, Not a Doer
Feb07

Parent College Coach Tip #2: Be a Helper, Not a Doer

Parents of college-bound teens struggle with boundaries. So much so that you often ask the question: “If I don’t do it for them, will it ever get done?” After all, you’ve taken care of them and met all of their needs for the past 18 years and it’s hard to stop. But parents should never take charge of the college prep process. What you can do, however, is help; or what I like to say, “Be a parent college coach.” Here are just a few ways you can help and coach your college-bound teen: Assist them with their organization of the college materials. Remind them of upcoming deadlines. Give them input on college choices. Talk with them about your college budget and what you expect them to contribute. Be a partner in the scholarship search process. Discuss the college visits (what they liked and didn’t like). Provide information for all the financial aid forms. This is the best time for you to step back a little and let your child spread their wings. They will be leaving for college soon and be on their own. The four years of high school are their training ground and if you still do everything for them, they won’t survive on their own in...

Read More
Who are your people?
Sep03

Who are your people?

John Carpenter I’ll tell you a secret. Every single year, the night before the first day of school, I get a little nervous.  You know what I’m talking about, right? It’s that inside-your-stomach jumpiness that comes right before something big happens, and though it feels kind of weird, I’ve discovered it’s actually a pretty good thing. That nervous feeling reminds us that beginnings are important, and when something is important, we want to get it right. There is so much to do at the beginning of a school year–especially if it’s your senior year, and of course, a lot of what needs to get done is connected to applying to college. And you definitely want to get that right! So, let’s think about one of the things that can help you turn the beginning of the school year into something that will also be advantageous to you as you organize yourself for applying to college. The key word is PEOPLE. That’s right. Part of the energy that comes with starting a new school year is a result of all the people in your life now: old friends, new teachers, new kids in class, buddies who were gone all summer at camp or traveling, new teams of starting and returning athletes. There’s a lot going on with the people who surround you the first few weeks of school. So, one way to get organized for college apps, is to make a list of the PEOPLE you need to connect with now. It takes a whole lot of people to get you into college, and the smarter you are, the sooner you will identify and talk to the people who will be supporting you in the process. First, your high school counselor is one of your main people to connect with. Make time to spend with your counselor to be sure that she or he knows exactly what your goals are, where you want to apply, what you see as your strengths, and when all the documentation needs to be sent to the colleges. This person will write a recommendation for you, so be sure your counselor understands you. And speaking of recommendations, you will need to connect with one or two teachers who know you well enough to write honest, praiseworthy endorsements for you. Be sure to touch base with them soon. Likewise, if athletic recruitment is part of your plan for getting admitted to college, be sure you’re communicating with your coach about potential programs, training, contacts, and videos. Another set of very important people for you as school begins is your parents. That’s right. You need to connect...

Read More