“I’m literally sick from the college process,” Mrs. Luo said. Her son was a senior at Waterford High School and in the midst of deciding where to apply to college. “My doctor told me that my heart palpitations are from stress and asked me what was causing my stress. I told him the college application process. He laughed and said that he has several patients who have seen him in the last few years due to stress related illnesses brought on by college madness.”
I entered educational counseling to make a positive difference in the lives of young adults. I’ve been surprised at how many times the best thing I have done is help parents deal with the college process in a healthy manner.
Why is the college application process so stressful? Separation from child is the elephant in the room. For 18 years, the child was the center of the parents’ (definitely the mom’s) universe and daily life. Thoughts of separation create both sadness and anxiety. Helping parents find a place where their children will be happy goes a long way towards easing the anxiety and to a lesser extent the sadness.
With Mrs. Luo, I discussed gratitude. When she was raising her toddler, and worried like all parents do about the health and safety of her son, she wished that someday he would be in position to apply to college. That someday was now. Her wish had been granted.