Overnight it seems as though your baby boy or girl has turned into a rising senior in high school. Guess it’s time to begin preparing for college, right? Wrong, that should have started when they started working on their first high school credits. For some of them that was seventh grade.
The problem is not with getting applications and essays written; it is all those missed opportunities that slipped past because the focus was not on the long-term goal. Consider how different your decisions might have been about attending that meeting hosted by three in-state colleges if there had been early conversations about college and they had shown an interest in one of them. Maybe the stress of taking the SAT or ACT for the first time would not be so high if you had taken advantage of the free evaluation given by the local test prep agency down the road. Those problem areas could have been identified a couple years ago and eliminated by now. The blank page on the application that asks your child to list volunteering and community service activities would have a couple entries had you known that colleges considered it to be an important part of child development. And, you would have insisted they stay in debate or track had you realized there was a whole section in the application is dedicated to extracurricular activities.
There are all sorts of little things that can be done four, five or even six years before high school graduation that can impact how attractive a student is to a college. Just like those little things we call bricks can be stacked on top of one another by a skilled mason to become impressive and beautiful buildings. Consider the difference in what a skilled artisan of any kind could produce when given four years instead of four months to complete a masterpiece…
Too many of my clients claim to work better under pressure. What they have yet to realize is that the thing they believe to be pressure is actually focus. The “have to” or “do or die” situation forces them to block out all distractions. The cell phone is turned off, the TV is no longer an option and sometime even music is even banished from the work area. Their project is given their full attention and they burn through it as if it were nothing. That same thing could have been done two weeks before when it was assigned, but all those distractions were more important until crunch time.
Be assured that all is not lost. Use the resources you have in school and even a private college planning service if needed. Don’t wait any longer. Identify what needs to be done and help your young adult put together a schedule to complete all required paperwork in a timely manner. This is not something that can wait until the deadline.