After the frenzy of the past few weeks, our house is relatively calm. There will be more college-related tension to come, but for now, the pressure has lifted.
In a quiet moment, I cannot help thinking about the students — and their families — still working their way through the ridiculously obtuse elements of the Common App, some college supplements, and some college websites. Once you’ve added the roller-coaster dynamics of the parent-teen relationship, the high emotions involved with the entire process, and the impending deadline for regular admissions: yikes.
Just in case this might help:
For questions about the Common App, start with their Common Questions for Applicants here.
With questions for a particular college, take a look first at its admissions blog, if it has one. For example:
- Johns Hopkins University provided Q&As a couple of weeks back with this post: 2011 Coming to a Close, Regular Decision Deadline is Here!. That post also references JHU’s admissions FAQ.
- UVa‘s Dean J has made a number of recent posts to the University of Virginia admissions blog, Notes from Peabody. See Deadline definition, Some last minute application information, and Regular decision deadline is around the corner for great information, including how to reach Dean J directly with questions (Twitter, GoogleChat, email, etc.).
Still polishing essays or short-answers? Parents cannot write anything for you, but they can proofread, read essays aloud, double-check word- or character-counts.
Sometimes, the most helpful step is to walk away from the job for five minutes. Here’s what people in this house would do…
From Mod Squad Julie: “I would go outside and shoot baskets for five minutes. The only thing is, I would probably stay longer than that.” Parent response: “What, you’d shoot until someone asked you to come back in and get to work?” Julie: “No, I usually say to myself I’ll go back to work after I make the next shot. Then once I’ve made it, I think: that felt good, let me do that again.”
From Mod Squad Linc: “Take the dog outside and chase her around the house a few times. Wait. Pete’s done, right?”
From Mod Squad Pete: “Take a music break, especially if you have a record player. Put an album on. I would recommend On Green Dolphin Street, by the Miles Davis Quintet.” [Whoops, there go ten minutes.]
From Mod Squad Dad: “Get some exercise and fresh air — take a short, fast walk.”
From me: Take a quick food break — make a smoothie, grab a handful of nuts to munch on. Then sit back down and plow through to the finish line — that will bring lots of positive energy.
Good luck to all!
- College Admissions Secrets. (drstrangecollege.wordpress.com)
- How to Apply to College… and When. (drstrangecollege.wordpress.com)
- Tackling colleges’ Common Application (cbsnews.com)