|By Hoo_29 (Hoo_29) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 09:50 pm: Edit|
The application process has really taken a toll on me. I am sure that all of you are going through the same things. It is so frustrating for me, because I did everything right to prepare for the process, I know exactly where I want to go, but I have no control over anything anymore. My parents are being wishy-washy about money (even though they can definetely afford it). My counselors have not helped me at all, and I am afraid they are going to screw up something on my app. I still am waiting on my teachers to finish their recs, and I have a Nov. 1 deadline for EA/ED. I feel so fortunate to even be able to go to college, but it is easy to get caught up in emotions and stress. I have no control over my life anymore. Why is applying to college so hard? And on top of that, I don't know if I am going to get in! Sorry, feel free to rant.
|By Momsdream (Momsdream) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 10:39 pm: Edit|
Have you ever really had THAT much control over everything? I thinking about "life", I don't think any of us ever has total control over anything. Even the most powerful business people (CEOs, etc) have to turn over control (delegation) to those on whom they rely to get things done for them. I have a hard time believing that this is the first time you've ever been in a situation where someone else had more control than you. But, maybe this is the first time you've had to deal with around such an important event.
You have to learn to delegate effectively and feel empowered by knowing to whom you can/should go to get things done and how to effectively communicate your needs. Maybe you can use this time as a lesson in this area. It will be very useful to you in the rest of your life.
This is a very stressful time! If your school is not helping or isn't responsive to you, can your parents assist in putting pressure on them to adhere to deadlines? Is your school not used to having students apply to college? Would it help for you to write out your expectations and timeline? One thing I've learned in business is that everything must be timebound....and I prefer to put things in writing.
|By Editrix (Editrix) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 12:51 am: Edit|
This is indeed a difficult time. It's not that your teacher recs are late--November 1 is still a month away--and it's very unlikely that your counselors will mess up your application. But it's true that you can't control what the adcoms will do. I know it seems right now as if your whole future hinges on going to a particular school, but after watching my own child and many others go through this often excruciating process, I believe that things work out in the end for nearly everyone. Some of them go to their first-choice schools; others change their minds about which school that is; and still others are far happier than they would have imagined in unexpected places.
I found Jay Mathews' book Harvard Schmarvard to be fairly wise and reassuring on this point. And while I can't speak to the particulars of your family finances, I recommend that you look up the posts on this board from Evil Robot, who went to Vanderbilt because they offered the kind of scholarship money that the Ivies didn't--and is having a great experience.
I hope you get into your first-choice school, but sooner or later you'll find that no one gets what he wants all the time. Flexibility and resilience are even more important in life than getting into what seems like the perfect college.
|By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 01:47 am: Edit|
Dear Hoo, you are tired!Just take it slowly and methodically with the h.s.Check on them to see applications have been sent out and check on them again, just be patient and PERSISTENT! Look realistically at your choices.Find a few Reaches and a few Safeties.Find out whcih your parents are okay with and if you need to talk them into a school, get started! Again, be patient and PERSISTENT ! I can see how a kid may feel in no control. Get well rested and TALK TO YOUR PARENTS about it. They need to know how you feel. This is very important, you are an important member of the family and it matters how you feel!
|By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 01:59 am: Edit|
I am very glad to hear someone shares the pain.
But at the same time..
I'm burdened, and I'm all the more burdened because unlike students who have had the opportunity to use their summer vacations, I haven't had a vacation since December.. (I take two weeks off for the whole year, the school is year-round.. I'm here voluntarily for ROTC and other things)..
But I don't feel the sense of over-pressure that you're feeling. School is almost out for me though.. So that's good.
|By Hoo_29 (Hoo_29) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 12:43 pm: Edit|
Thanks. I just am really upset with my counselors because every time I go up to their office, they're "busy" and can't make an appointement. My parents don't care enough to get involved, so they don't seem to take a 17 year old seriously. They have a history of leaving stuff out of the envelope (teacher recs, etc) and they give really bad advice. I am worried for my friends and myself. I just feel like they don't really give a crap if we get in or not, they just want us to leave them alone.
|By Fishingmn (Fishingmn) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 01:29 pm: Edit|
"My parents are being wishy-washy about money (even though they can definetely afford it)."
Uhh... It's their money.
I'm sure my kids believe that too but I've made it pretty clear that although I "could" pay $40k per year I will only give them $15k per year. They can choose -
A) A school that fits that budget
B) Work really hard to get scholarships to more expensive school
C) Get loans to pay for more expensive school (which I highly discourage - bad way to start life with tons of loans)
Since their is no link between the price of college and post-college pay I feel that this is a very reasonable approach to teaching them about financial management.
|By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 01:59 pm: Edit|
"Since their is no link between the price of college and post-college pay I feel that this is a very reasonable approach to teaching them about financial management."
Not everyone believes that the post-college paycheck is the primary measure of educational success.
at my son's hs, students may take the sealed application to the post office themselves. You can also provide a self-addressed postcard to be sent with the application - include check-off boxes for the application components (application, teacher's rec, GC rec, essays, etc.) The admissions folks can send you back the card when they receive the package. Screw ups at the high school are not unknown - taking the above steps may help to see that all is in order. Also, doing your apps before the rush will help.
|By Dadofsam (Dadofsam) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 01:59 pm: Edit|
BANG! BANG! BANG!!
Are you OK, Hoo?
OK; now that that's taken care of, look again at Backhandgrip's post. This time in your application process is, unfortunately a very stressful time, and it's taking its toll.
So stop and think for a couple of minutes. You do have a whole month left, which really is enough time to get things moving in the right direction. If the process isn't going the way it should, and you feel out of control, note that you have an opportunity to start taking control of the organization of the process to a certain degree. That could also have the indirect effect of getting your parents to take you more seriously.
I don't know exactly how to get your guidance counselor to give you an appointment. It may be that at your school there are not enough counselors for the number of students applying to college, and they are overwhelmed and unable to see all the students who want to meet with them, as many times as they want to meet. Three ideas, though: (a) be persistent (but also be pleasant) in asking for an appointment, (b) if you get one, try to use the time wisely and efficiently as you might not get another one, and (c) if you still can't get an appointment and are close to a teacher, ask for some friendly advice on that question.
I hate to say it, but you'll also have less stress if you stop worrying about your friends. It puts extra stress on you. You have enough to do with keeping up your grades and getting the application(s) off without extra worrying. Be a friend, be sympathetic, listen to their gripes, share gripes, then try to put their problems out of your mind. (Sure, it's not easy, but if you want to try to get some control over the process you also have to work on getting some control over yourself).
Check with your teachers about the status of their recs, but don't start really worrying about them until later in October. Most teachers are conscientious about getting the recs out in time. (Usually they are mailed by the teacher or by the school, not by you or your parents). And after November 1, start checking with the college to make sure they have received everything they need.
And that ought to be enough advice for now. Good luck on your application.
|By Editrix (Editrix) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 02:03 pm: Edit|
About your school's unhelpfulness: I'm not sure what you need from them, other than to send in the necessary forms, especially since "they give really bad advice." You can always look elsewhere for advice, here and in the many excellent books on college admission. As for their record of leaving things out of envelopes, virtually every college will either tell you if materials are missing from your application or provide a way that you can check for youself; you'll then have another chance to make sure the materials are sent. And again, there's still plenty of time between now and November 1; it's your anxiety that makes it seem as if everyone's moving too slowly.
I'm sorry you feel that your parents don't care; that's possible, of course, but it seems more likely that they do care but are worried about money and/or not good at communicating with you. You need to find a way to have a calm discussion with them about what they can/are willing to pay; about filling in financial aid forms; etc.
It sounds as if the only thing you really need to do at this point is to sit down and talk with your parents. Meanwhile, while it's fine to check back with the counselors every week, I don't recommend bugging them constantly. Unfortunately, there's no way to hurry this process along, and too much obsessing and anxiety can actually be counter-productive. I know it sounds crazy, but you should actually try to have some fun during your senior year.
|By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 02:06 pm: Edit|
My S has not gotten around to asking teachers for recs (he approached them last spring and they said they were willing). He has to fill out the forms before he can give them to the teachers. So you're well ahead of him--and of the majority of applicants, I should think.
If you cannot make an appointment to see your GC, can you email him? Or combine an email and a visit? My S had an appointment to see his GC but the visit was cut short. C'ést la vie. The GC obviously had a lot on his place, and yet, there are probably more GCs in his school than in many public schools of similar size. Try not to stress too much.
|By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 02:37 pm: Edit|
Hoo, I found emails were a very effective way to communicate with my son's very busy counselor and teachers. It completely avoids the frustration of phone tag. My son took care of the teacher recs and had a close relationship with those teachers, so he did not feel the least bit inhibited in asking them where they were in relation to the deadline. My suggestion would be to talk to your parents, ask them to email your counselor for whatever it is that you want for him/her to do. Perhaps if a parent mentions the Nov. 1 deadline, it will move you to the top of the priority list. If you have chosen teachers you are close to and comfortable with to trust your rec writing to, you should feel comfortable talking to them also.
I get the feeling that you attend a large public hs, and there's no doubt that college apps are different for those students who don't have the benefit of a bona fide college counselor. You mention that they frequently leave things out of the envelope. Don't worry. Just follow up with the admissions office. Many colleges now have a personalized online tracking service through their admissions office. If not, the telephone is always there. But, DO follow up. Sometimes the misplaced items are not the fault of the counselors, but the fault of the adcoms. It can be found and filed if followed up on in a timely manner.
Backhandgrips advice to get some rest and be persistent is sound. Good luck to you!
|By Fishingmn (Fishingmn) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 04:36 pm: Edit|
"Not everyone believes that the post-college paycheck is the primary measure of educational success. "
Ohiomom - certainly not.
But one would hope that the price one pays for school has nothing to do with educational success either.
|By Hoo_29 (Hoo_29) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:18 pm: Edit|
Thanks so much guys! I never knew that I could send stuff out seperately. I am enjoying my senior year, but I would be enjoying it a whole lot more having my apps. out in the mail. Yes, unfortunately I go to a LARGE and overcrowded Public HS, but I am only there until 11:30. I think things will work out for the best, and if it's not meant to be, then I can go to my second or third choice schools. I am starting to relax...I wrote all my essays today=) and am still making time for everything. And now I know for sure that I am at least going to college, because I am already enrolled at my state school.
I am relaxing...slowly. And best wishes to all of you parents/students this year. You guys are so great to talk to.
And fishingmn, that's your opinion, but I think that if my parents gross over l million a year, they can pay for my college. That should be a priority, not buying another beach house. I think that being unable to afford college and just plain cheap are two different things, and I feel very fortunate to be in this position.
|By Cheers (Cheers) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:35 am: Edit|
Poor Hoo! So stressed. You're too young to be so tightly wound. You'll make yourself sick.
The good news is that there are many many many wonderful universities and colleges out there. You'll probably enjoy the one you choose--whether or not it is one of your top choices now. Keep repeating that mantra: "I will enjoy the university I go to".
The bad news is that your relationship to your parent's money is...slippery at best. You certainly don't have rights or entitlement. It can be quite freeing to let go of those expectations and look to yourself to earn what you need.
My parents reneged on their original promise to pay "any tuition at any university". Actually, they reneged a couple of times. It dovetailed with their desire to hold me back, control my future. I was surprised that they didn't want the best for me, but htere you have it. Oh well.
So, I figured out how to give myself the education I wanted, the year in New York, the overseas job, the practice in New York City. It's not that hard. You can do it too.
And then, if you want to bother, you can earn enough so that your kids are able to attend any private school, any university and any abroad program, regardless of cost.
|By Fishingmn (Fishingmn) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 11:57 am: Edit|
I agree that if I made that much money I'd probably pay for whatever college my child wanted to attend.
That said your comment "they can pay for my college" smacks of a feeling of entitlement.
If it were me I'd want my child to sit down with me and understand my feelings and gain my involvement in the process before I would agree. You're asking them to invest a lot of money - I would think that they should feel like they have input into the decisions. I didn't say they should make the decisions - they should be able to offer advice and feel like active participants in your decision.
I know my D would gain a lot more traction with me if she went about things that way.
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