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A Good Fit: COLLEGE SELECTION EDITION

A.Good.Fit. What does that mean? A swim suit should be a good fit. Jeans definitely need to be a good fit, but as a mother of a college sophomore and a HS junior, I immediately think of colleges when I hear “a good fit.” What does “a good fit” in a college mean? Is it the “best” college a child is accepted into? Is it the parents’ alma mater? Is it the college that parents can most easily afford? For purposes of this essay, choosing a college that fits a child’s unique personality, academic needs, and extracurricular interests is what a good fit means.

Frantic texts from your son or daughter, tearful phone calls, or sadness and anxiety are not what anyone wants to experience from a college freshman who has left home for the first time in his or her life. Being on the receiving end of these calls and texts can be brutal for the parent who feels helpless, and traumatic for the student who is miserable in his or her new environment.

Colleges all seem to want your child to apply. You will receive tons of bright and shiny brochures from schools you’ve never heard of, as well as highly selective schools which claim to have a place for your “C” student. How does a student make sense of all this attention? Unfortunately, in many cases it’s a game designed to lower a school’s acceptance rate, which can improve the school’s ranking. It’s also tough on the postal carrier! And what if your teenager never looks at ANY of them? Or he’s interested in ALL of them?

It’s also possible that your child is not engaged in the college admission process at all. There are many possible explanations for this, but sometimes college is not the answer at this time for the teen. Perhaps a gap year is in order, or the military, or learning a trade. Often times, children are reluctant to reveal this to their parents who have been discussing the perfect college at the dinner table for years. Truly and mindfully listening to your child will help you understand what is best for your child.

So how does a child come to discern what is right for him or her? How can you, as a loving and caring parent, confidently let go and allow your child to chose the place or direction that feels right for him or her, but maybe not for you?

For this process to end well, a teen needs to understand what he or she wants, who he or she is, and where he or she wants to end up. What teenager has those answers? Actually, every teen does!

What? Absolutely! Coaching is based on the principle that everyone – teens and adults alike – have the answers to these questions. It just takes a skilled professional to ask the right questions in a non-judgmental manner.

Life coaching can help parents and teens navigate these murky waters and arrive at answers that lie within. Help your child find his or her passion and start the journey to a successful life. For parents, life coaching can assist with letting go of your teen and reshaping your new life. Many parents struggle with the separation and feel anxious or sad after a child leaves the nest. This is not unusual. Talking with a Life Coach can help parents form their life plans and new journeys as well.

Contact Arlene for information.

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