As Connecticut seniors receive their Early Action and Early Decision results, college anxiety becomes a pandemic among the privileged masses of suburban Connecticut families. As a parent of a senior living in Old Saybrook, CT, I find myself battling the same affliction.
15 years of working with students applying to college has helped largely because some part of my work has been providing rational college counseling analysis amidst a sea of panicked parents of college bound students.
Some part of my advice simply does get through psychologically-spiritually undeveloped people. That sounds harsh but it is true. For example, when I tell parents (and tell myself) that if our children getting deferred in an Early Action or Early Decision college admissions pool is our biggest problem then we should count ourselves among the lucky, some parents stop in their tracks and say “you are so right.” And, then they reflect on life’s larger challenges and realize that having to wait a few months for a college admissions decision is not life altering. One of my most inspiring students attended Daniel Hand High School in Madison, CT. She had a liver transplant. She was awesome. Her parents were awesome. Part of their awesomeness was their perspective on life due to having faced a real challenge. Some parents politely acknowledge what I say and then immediately ask “do you think she’ll get into Boston College?” or whatever college deferred their child.
Look around. If you live in Connecticut and you are on a college counseling website, you probably have a pretty great life.