The “second time around” has been both an easy and difficult transition. It has been easier because we as parents are experienced in the college search and the application process. We knew right away, that Anthony did not want a “large school” and he really did not want to live out of state so even with just these two criteria, it made the search a little easier. The difficultly lies in the anticipation of the application process. The waiting, the what ifs, and those are stressful not only to the applicant but to the parents.
I find the “one day, one issue” at a time approach works well. Do little bits each day. You will find that you have more quality work.
We finished our search and interviews mid-August. Around mid-July we started to encourage a look and rough draft of the Common Application because other than summer reading, this would be a time to be able to do a “little each day”. That process went well. After more than a few reminders that school and soccer were “just around the corner” Anthony managed not only to complete the essay but he completed it with quality. The essay has been proofread more than once and corrections have been made. There was the occasional “eye roll” or “heavy sigh” but for the most part there was compliance. The eye roll and heavy sighs were cues for us to back off and give some space!
The most important factor for us even before starting the essay was not only the topic but the content of the topic. That “goal that you scored to win” may have been the highlight of yours and our lives but think of how many times the Admissions counselor has read that same story! Although you are the author of your essay put yourself in the position of the reader for a moment to be truly objective. Would this topic leave an impression or just be another piece of writing that you would struggle to get through reading?
At this point my best advice is to be persistent but cooperative. Be encouraging and offer help but know when to stand back and just watch. You don’t want to seem critical but think of it as offering another “point of view”. Keep saying “It will get done, it will be fine” and in our case thankfully it already has….
Andrea DeAngelo, all-star mom of Marc and Anthony. I’ve sent my oldest son, Marc, off to college and now it’s Anthony’s turn. Trust me, it’s different ball game this time! Here is my take on tackling the admissions & college search process.