Fall’s here, which means over the next few months, high school juniors and seniors will be taking and retaking SATs and ACTs, getting application materials together, and visiting colleges.
This can be a stressful time for students as well as parents, especially if parents are dealing with the fact that their young adult wants to go far away for schooling.
Here are some points to remember:
1. It’s not necessarily you, it’s them. Sometimes students just want to venture away from where they grew up and spread their wings and fly. Without sounding too cheesy (too late), just remember that college is a time for your child to find his or herself and that by being too close to home, they might not be able to seek their full potential.
2. Actually visit the schools if they are far away. Even if your child gets accepted to reputable Stanford and you live in New Jersey, still visit. You don’t want to just blindly send your son or daughter to a school based on simply its reputation. Just because it’s a “great” school doesn’t mean it will be for them.
3. Is your child a homebody? You may not want to discourage them from looking at far-away schools, but just be realistic with them. Remind them that if they get homesick on the West Coast and you’re on the East Coast, you can’t necessarily take a plane ride out or get them a plane ride home at the drop of a hat. If they still want to go far away, maybe encourage them to look at schools where family members might be nearby, just in case they need a support system in times of stress.
4. Technology makes the world a smaller place. With tools like Skype, FaceTime, email, Facebook, Twitter, the list goes on, it’s a million times easier to stay in touch with people than it was 20 years ago. So while your baby may be thousands of miles away, you can still reach them whenever you want (maybe more so than you could when they were in high school!).
5. They may not even go far away. Sure, they might be telling you right now that they want to go to a school on the opposite side of the country (or world!), but high school students tend to be “big talk.” When it comes down to it, they might actually go to a school that’s only a state away. Or maybe even an hour.