Forget the holiday season, it’s college application time! It can be stressful for teens and their families.
Cindy Muchnick, co-author of The Parent Compass: Navigating Your Teen’s Wellness and Academic Journey in Today’s Competitive World, shares some advice on how to approach the process so everyone can have a good experience.
First, Muchnick suggests letting the application task truly be your child’s. It can be easy to let “parental pride” slip into “parental pressure,” but caregivers have had their turn and it’s time to let their child be in the driver’s seat.
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That also means taking social media out of the picture once results come in. Muchnick encourages teens to celebrate with their family and close friends, but public social media posts can add pressure on students and make others feel bad. “For every happy video, there [are many that] aren’t so happy,” she reminds us.
Muchnick also wants to remind parents that a four-year college isn’t always the best choice for everyone.
She encourages families to support their students in whatever journey is best for them. Sometimes that’s a gap year, entering the workforce, internships, the military, or something less conventional.