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How to Mange College Admissions Stress

Home » Blog »How to Mange College Admissions Stress
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adults
March is college admissions decision time, and it has families with high school seniors on the edge of their seats. Whether it's using all of your restraint not to tackle the mailman to see if the envelopes are thick (accepted) or thin (rejected or maybe wait-list), or hovering around the computer with the cursor poised over the "decision" button on colleges' websites, kids are thinking if they don't get into Big-Name U or First-Choice U, their life is over. Parents, while they want to be supportive, are secretly thinking the same thing: This yes or no feels like do or die for their child's future.

But is there really life beyond the thin envelope? At the moment of impact, the answer is no. But after the brief flatline, when it feels like the horizon of your child's future has dropped out of sight for both you and your child, there is a resounding -- yes. The fact is that if you ask your child, sincerely, to look at the actual meaning of the rejection, things start to shift. Parents should coach children to see that the rejection itself, they couldn't control (and the "they" here refers both to parents and to kids). As students, they did their part -- and most likely, did it very well. Parents did their part, too: coaching, cajoling, and fretting a bit for good measure. But as the number of applications goes up each year and class size doesn't change, it is inevitable that the number of rejections increases, too. Admission boards are experiencing their own stress of having to turn away more and more highly qualified students. So the rejection part, no one could control, but what students do next, after that rejection, that part is up to them.

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