Recently I got a request from a client to review their transcript and provide advice regarding the chances of their child successfully completing their undergraduate course of study. They wanted me to identify pitfalls that might prevent them from graduating with a college degree. It took a moment to arrange those thoughts in my head, so I read the message again to make sure it was correctly understood. I had.
After thinking about this request for a moment, I dubbed it my most unusual request of the 2021 application season. Every year someone from my list of clients will produce a question that I didn’t see coming and this one was completely outside my field of vision.
The message was sent by a parent but what came back after sending my response told me that it was the graduating senior, beginning to understand that this is all becoming a reality, who was getting cold feet. My response is below with obvious changes so that my client remains anonymous.
“Jane” is performing academically better than 85% of the students in her high school senior class. There is every reason to believe that she will perform similarly in college. Many of the things that cause students to struggle in college have little to do with the difficulty of the coursework. “Jane’s” ability to adapt to her new environment, become comfortable with her instructors, manage her time responsibly and integrate into the college community will be as important to her grades as how hard she studies. No matter how much preparation time is put into safeguarding against something going wrong, nothing will be certain until “Jane” is on campus and taking college classes. The best thing to do is keep from searching for problems to worry about. This falls into that category.
Whether the person preparing for college is your child, a relative, a friend or you, focus on what is right in front of you first. Plan for success but don’t trip over today by staring too long at the horizon.