It's Just Another Part of the Adventure

We've been thinking a lot lately about parenting through the college application process. Decision time is when your anxieties roll in and you need to marshal all your critical thinking and parenting skills. So here are some words of wisdom culled recently from better wordsmiths than we.

Don't miss Joan Didion's reality check on her denial from Stanford:

The next year a friend at Stanford asked me to write him a paper on Conrad’s Nostromo, and I did, and he got an A on it. I got a B- on the same paper at Berkeley, and the specter of Rixford K. Snyder was exorcised. (Rixford K. Snyder was the Stanford Director of Admission.)

Also, DePaul's Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, Jon Boeckenstedt, has a great post, The Best Way to Deal with College Rejection, which puts everything in perspective in inimitable straight-talk style.

Every time I hear about the collective angst over rejected teenagers, or every time I hear adults devising ways to help them cope with the sting, I think of this: The 200,000 kids who enlisted in WWII before their 18th birthday, many of whom fought at Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, The Battle of Anzio, or Omaha Beach. And I’m not even one of those flag-waving patriots who chokes up at the National Anthem.

And we recently came across a column from advice columnist and teacher Michele Woodward about making choices that had some reinforcement for our best instincts:

A note to parents: regardless of your child's age, remember that one of your most important jobs is teaching your kids to have confidence in their choices. Not confidence in your choices on their behalf, but of their choices on their own behalf. Refrain from fixing problems, or solving stuff for your kid - as hard as that might be. Allow them to fail early, and fail well, so they will learn how to right their own ship, and have the kind of self-confidence that some of us have to re-learn later in life.

So good luck as your son or daughter moves on in this next phase of life. Remember, as a friend advised us when we were facing our firstborn heading off to college, "It's just another part of the adventure."

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