A holiday gift to seniors: college-free zone

A holiday gift to seniors: college-free zone

A few years ago, a senior created a pin that said, “Please don’t talk to me about college.” She had designed it as an accessory to her outfit for Thanksgiving dinner with her extended family, as a subtle but firm request to allow her to keep her peace after a stressful application season. There are a host of other examples that students have tried over the years from pamphlets with a “Frequently Asked Questions” style presentation (including information that relatives often asked about such as age, first choice college, application status and more) to preparing jokes as a way to keep college-related questions light and less invasive.

For many students, the journey towards the college application process begins long before senior year. Students often spend much of the summer working on essays before an intense fall term of keeping up with their rigorous course schedule, extracurricular activities, as well as finishing and submitting their applications. The holiday season, commencing with Thanksgiving as most of the initial deadlines have passed by mid-November, is often seen as the light at the end of an arduous tunnel. Unfortunately, being able to truly relax and let go of the college-induced stress and anxiety is often thwarted by an influx of questions from family members and family friends as we all gather for food and celebration. 

While it’s certainly entertaining to watch the creative attempts of seniors around the country trying to protect themselves from a barrage of questions about their least favorite part of high school, we encourage the adults in their lives to be more mindful of their plight. Most questions come from mere curiosity, but can easily lead down a road a senior had hoped to avoid that can trigger stress and anxiety about what lies ahead. 

If you are a parent of a senior, take some time to gauge how your student is feeling about these types of questions so you can support them appropriately. They may be happy to share, but some may prefer that you provide family and your friends with updates so they don’t have to; others may be particular about what type of information is shared; and some may benefit from you letting the incoming relatives know that the dinner table will be a college-free zone this year and that your student will provide an update when the process has concluded!

If you are a friend or relative of a senior, approach with love and step lightly. Some students may be excited to share updates and their experiences with the process, while others may just be trying to catch their breath. Check in with their parents first to see how best to approach them about it, if at all. Keep in mind that some students will be receiving news from schools they applied early to in December, which could be good, disappointing, or more of the same (if they get deferred for later consideration.)

Most importantly, help our weathered students enjoy the holiday season during what may be the last one they spend with you while living at home. ❤️

No Comments

There is no comment for this post

Leave a Reply