When you start the college search, your parents may be more invested in the process than you are. You’ve taken the time to look at some websites (and maybe do a few campus visits), but your parents still may be constantly asking questions and raising your stress level.
Choosing which college is for you is a big choice and it’s not one you want to get pushed into quickly. Here’s a few ways to alleviate your parents fears so that you can decide at your own pace (deadlines allowing).
1. Have a list of schools
You don’t need to do extensive research, but spending an hour or so online skimming college websites and jotting down a list of campuses that look appealing is a great way to show your parents that you’re making progress.
When your mom asks you if you’ve looked into any schools, you don’t want to be empty handed. Name-dropping a few places that look appealing to you, even after just a quick overview, will relieve fears that you’re totally in the dark and leaving the decision to the last minute. And you might find something new that appeals to you.
2. Know the application requirements
Beyond knowing which colleges you want to apply to, it’s important to know what you need to write for the application and the dates when everything is due. Some schools require multiple essays while others require hardly any information at all.
Your parents know you’re responsible but they probably also know that you’ve missed a few deadlines throughout your time in high school. Missing the application deadline for a school you’re considering means you won’t get in and your parents really don’t want this to happen.
Showing your parents that your top choices require one essay each, that these essays are all due in two months, and that you will be devoting three upcoming Saturdays to these essays is a great way to relive their stress and keep them from pestering you about deadlines. There are lots of ways to keep this stuff organized, from apps to online services like Pinterest. Find one that works for you and share it with your parents.
3. Stay in close contact with your college counselor
Showing your parents that you’re in regular contact with your school’s counseling office will help you stay on track and reassure them. And make sure your parents are aware of financial aid information nights or any other college programs that your school is offering. That way, they’ll feel in the loop and understand their own responsbilities in the college search, such as financial aid forms.
[Want more tips on searching for and applying to college? Get our Guide to Preparing for College.]