The annual panic leading up to early application deadlines is in full swing. Parents worry about their students who worry about what they’re supposed to write in their essays, and when they’ll have time to write it between AP classes and soccer practice, and how they’ll possibly get into college now that everyone says it’s impossible!
Whether the panic comes from impending college application deadlines, or just the word “college”, it pulses throughout the land. But you don’t have to live with this anxiety! Come join me in a world where Inner Trolls (we all have them, and they are mean) are banished, and our Inner Power prevails (deep down, you are fierce).
Regain Power as the Almighty Sovereign of Your Own Life…
Portal to an Inner Troll-Free World
- What is your worst college-related fear? Write it down. Example: My kid won’t get into the right college to bring them success in life.
- Face that fear. Is it even real? Please shove away your noisy Inner Troll repeating all the hullabaloo about college rankings (colleges are not football teams; those “scores” are not real) so you can hear this true story: My son landed a prestigious internship last summer (sure, I’m proud of him, but that’s not the point of this story). When he arrived, he met his fellow interns from Purdue University and MIT and Connecticut College and Wheaton College and University of Arizona and California Polytech…need I go on? From a vast variety of colleges, they all landed at the same place.
- Of course all the college marketing hurled at you for years may have seeped in a bit, but if it did, do not hand the mic to that hideous Inner Troll of yours. No self-shaming allowed here, no matter how anxious you’ve been feeling. Please give yourself (and your kid…is there any way your anxiety could possibly be having a positive effect on your child?) a break from worry, which will free up some mental space for you. An open mind is all I ask at this juncture.
- Fun fact: excitement is a kissing cousin of anxiety! Summon your power within to channel all that giddy energy you’ve been devoting to worry into excitement for your kid who will get to experience college. Whatever you loved about college (if you went) or dreamed about college (if you didn’t go) is waiting for your child there. Are we excited yet?
- Now rewrite the story of your worst fear into a new, better story. Example: There are a million pathways to success, college is just one of them, and my version of success may be different from my child’s. (Boom!)
- We parents do not have the bandwidth to hold two conflicting stories in our heads when we need to work and plan dinner and make doctor’s appointments. Let go of that old story that was freaking you out, a blessing for both your health and your relationship with your college-bound child. Feel your shoulders drop from your ears to the level where they’re supposed to rest on your body. Feel your jaw unclench.
(Another) sanity saver…
Once back in the real world, maintain your Inner Power! Treat yourself (for a change) to chocolate or wine or that hike you haven’t had time for or lock yourself in a room for five minutes of quiet, doing absolutely nothing.
I hope you feel fiercer now, but if your child would feel more confident submitting their college application after a review by an admission professional, contact me soon for an early Application Review (not such a rush for regular decision).
Then tell your child you love them (of course!) and you’re excited (instead of worried!) for them to have their college experience, whatever that may look like. Despite the panic now, it will really, truly work out for your child, as it does for students every single year, sometimes in ways we parents could never have anticipated.