Are You Putting Too Much Pressure on Your Child During the College Admission Process?

Are You Putting Too Much Pressure on Your Child During the College Admission Process?

Intense achievement pressure, particularly in affluent communities, can generate high levels of stress, anxiety, and/or depression in young people. We are sharing this from MCC, and hope you give it a read!

The questions and short quiz created by the team at Making Caring Common can help parents and caregivers (and even counselors like us!) be alert to red flags that they may be putting too much pressure on their student in the college admissions process.

College Admissions Red Flags: Quiz and questions for consideration

  1. During dinner conversations, do you often talk about your child’s grades and college applications, forgetting to ask your child what they find interesting and fun about school?

  2. When you meet with or contact your child’s teacher, do you ask primarily about grades and test scores? Do grades and test scores tend to crowd out discussions of whether your child seems to be enjoying school, is a good friend to others, and contributes to the classroom?

  3. Do you email or call your child’s teacher about assignments or grades more than once a month, even when your child is not having any problems (e.g., trouble completing homework, absence due to illness, etc.)?

  4. Does your child sometimes not eat or sleep well because he or she is worried about not performing at a high level in school?

  5. Do you press your child to take certain courses or participate in extracurricular activities in which they have little interest, or which are stressful for them, for the sake of college applications?

  6. Do you encourage your child to do certain community service projects that they are not interested in because you think these projects will be helpful for their college application?

  7. Do you sometimes allow your child to exaggerate or lie about the extent of their community service because it will help them get into a selective college?

  8. Do you ever encourage your child to apply to selective high schools or colleges based on prestige or commercial rankings, such as the U.S. News & World Report ranking, without considering whether the school is a good fit for your child’s personality and interests?

  9. Do you ever see your child’s peers as competition in the college application process—for example, telling your child not to let others know where they are applying to college because others might apply to the same school and hurt your child’s chances of getting into the same college?

  10. Do you sometimes pressure your child to engage in substantial college preparation while they are on vacation (e.g., intensively studying vocabulary cards or math problems), instead of ensuring that they have ample time to relax or play?

  11. Did you or do you plan to hire an SAT/ACT tutor or have your child take an SAT/ACT preparatory course before junior year of high school?

  12. When you visit colleges with your child, do you sometimes ask more questions than your child does on the tour or at the info session?

  13. If your child was not accepted at a selective high school or college, would you be embarrassed? Would it affect your self-esteem?

  14. If your child received a bad grade on a test or assignment, would you feel responsible or like a failure?

  15. Do you primarily visit and talk about highly selective colleges with your child, rather than a wide variety of colleges, including less-selective ones?

  16. Do you frequently think about whether your child is performing at a high level or will be accepted at a high-status college?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to take a look at the messages you may be inadvertently sending your child, and to talk with those you respect and trust about how you might reduce college admission pressure. Learn more about our Turning the Tide Initiative and use our tips for dialing down achievement pressure and raising caring kids.

 *Stay in the know! Subscribe*

News of the Week!

News of the Week!

10 trends to watch as testing reopens (short version: ACT/SAT tests still matter).

Why January application deadlines are just a bad idea.

Advocates say a comprehensive approach is required to address mental health challenges on college campuses, but more information is needed about what does and doesn’t work. Bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress aims to find that information out.

 *Stay in the know! Subscribe*

Peer Project Grants

Peer Project Grants

The non-profit My Friend Abbey is awarding grants for peer-to-peer projects. The Fall 2021 grant cycle is now open to youth and young adults! The application deadline is November 15, 2021. The theme for this season is “Share Your Light.”

Here are some suggested ideas for grant projects:

Sharing your talent and teaching someone else your craft! For example, gardening is good for your mental health, so if you garden, buy some bulbs and teach your friends how to plant them and care for the plants. Or if you knit or sew, show a group of friends how to make something for the holidays that they can give as a gift.

You can always find a way to #37HelpOthersInABigWay or highlight the good in others.

You could complete a ‘compassion project’ in which you and/or a group agree to raise awareness in the area of mental health and wellness through kindness. You can document this project by performing a short play, blogging, researching and joining an existing group you never knew about (for example, an LGBTQ group, cultural group, or volunteer group like a soup kitchen.)

Or start your own group! Spread your kindness and compassion for all to see!
These are just a few suggestions. What will YOUR project be? Don’t forget to tell your friends and family, and request an application!

To request a grant application, email Gillian@myfriendABBY.org.

Click below to read about recent grant recipient’s projects:

2020

Spring 2021

Remember, applications must be received by November 15th!

 *Stay in the know! Subscribe*

 

 

News of the Week!

News of the Week!

New NCAA eligibility guidelines released! 

Admissions as a Game of Chance? New Research Says Lotteries Could Decrease Diversity.

High School Students and Counselors Are Burned Out. We feel this. 

One response: “Our kids are really burnt out. Their usual ability to persevere is significantly lower. They are needing schools to come to them not the other way around. Doing virtual events is NOT helpful as they don’t even want to look at a screen.”

Another response: “Students are experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety with being back in person. Even the brightest students are struggling with completing homework and being present.”

And another: “Our students are markedly less mature this year, and moving through the college application process slowly. I don’t know that Ursinus can help, but the pandemic definitely hurt the students’ development and maturity.”

This article is definitely worth a read as we all need to keep mental health and wellness at the top of our to-do lists with our students. 

 *Stay in the know! Subscribe*

On Celebrating What Really Matters

On Celebrating What Really Matters

To all our seniors: just submitting applications is a huge accomplishment!!!

Take 7 minutes to listen to Kelly Corrigan’s case for celebrating the litany of accomplishments that a completed college application represents. 

There’s so much more to applying to college than where you get in or don’t. Listen here!

 *Stay in the know! Subscribe*

 

Do Your Best

Do Your Best

In a recent Inside Higher Ed article, W. Kent Barnds reflects on what he should have told his daughter and thousands of other high school students: just do your best. 

As we approach the time of year when it can be easy to lose sight of what matters (regarding college admissions!) it is worth a read!

*Stay in the know! Subscribe*

Dear Struggling Parents, It’s Not Just You.

Dear Struggling Parents, It’s Not Just You.

TIME’s It’s Not Just You newsletter is a good one. This past week it was a letter to parents of teens, many of whom are struggling right now, plus a selection of expert pandemic parenting advice.

Parenting teenagers in the middle of a once-in-100-years pandemic is hard, doing so while they are applying to college in a year when the whole college process has blown up, and it’s even harder.

Check out the newsletter or signup here.

 

*Stay in the know! Subscribe*

Procrastinate Much? Manage Your Emotions, Not Your Time.

Procrastinate Much? Manage Your Emotions, Not Your Time.

Procrastination. It’s frustrating, often maddening, but this article helped.

Procrastination isn’t about avoiding work; it’s about avoiding negative emotions. We procrastinate when a task stirs up feelings like anxiety, confusion or boredom. And although it makes us feel better today, we end up feeling worse — and falling behind — tomorrow. This means that if you want to procrastinate less, you don’t have to increase your work ethic or improve your time management. You can instead focus on changing your habits around emotion management.

Applying to college can be confusing, definitely boring at times, and almost always, for everyone involved, anxiety-provoking. Read the full article here!

*Stay in the know! Subscribe*