Tips for Taking the Angst Out of the College Apps (Part 2) by Fern Weis



Parents and kids get caught up in the whirlwind of applications, finances and waiting for college acceptances (or rejections). It's a pressure-cooker that tests everyone's patience and sanity. What can you and your student do while you're waiting? 1. What are some ways for students to de-stress during senior year and college decisions?

  • Learn something new (cooking, art, music), build something, play in the snow/sand, help someone else

  • Mindset - Share what you're thinking and feeling. Learn to ask for help. View problems as temporary and solvable.

  • Physical - Get some sleep! Relax (read, hot shower, dance, sing, play with pets, yoga, meditation, exercise).

2. What is the best response when the stress of waiting becomes overwhelming?

  • Stop checking online! Find something else to do - sports, school play, volunteer work.

  • Avoid the 'senior slide'. Keep working in classes and make sure midterm grades go to the colleges.

  • Use a trusted teacher or counselor for support. Remember, you are strong, adaptable, and you WILL get into college.

3. How can parents help teens during the process and while waiting for acceptances?

  • Be a great listener. Acknowledge their feelings (I hear how frustrated/anxious/worried you are).

  • In a calm moment, ask how you can help (with the process, or to support them).

  • Be the voice of reason. There is no perfect college. He'll survive the process. Remind her of past successes.

4. What are the best ways parents should deal with their own stress from dealing with teen stress?

  • Your teen picks up and feeds off your anxiety. Do your own de-stressing and be there to support them.

  • You can't eliminate their stress. It may be unpleasant, but they will survive the college process and disapppointment... and so will you.

  • Follow the same advice you'd give them! Focus on what you can control and get busy with the rest of your life.

5. What three things should you take away from this?

  • Watch out for signs of stress and anxiety. Is it normal or overload? Get help if needed.

  • Be a good listener and help kids vent. Acknowledge what they're feeling without judging or fixing.

  • Make sure teens have opportunities for exercise, creativity, friends and positive experiences.

Start paying attention to behavior changes that may indicate stress overload. Take a look at your own behaviors and responses when the subject of college comes up. There are always opportunities to take the angst out of the apps.

~Fern Weis, Certified Coach and Middle School Teacher, helps parents break down the walls their teens put up, so they can have a great relationship and better prepare their kids for success in college and beyond. Learn how Fern can help you with your parenting concerns through coaching, classes and workshops at Your Family Matters.

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