How likely are you to ask your 15-16 year old child to think about college campuses and dormitory life and majors? Let’s be real—it is difficult enough to get a 9th grader to think about cleaning his room or washing her hands or to answer a question about homework.
Is it even appropriate to ask a 15-year-old student, perhaps just a few months out of middle school, where she would like to spend her 20th birthday?
Thinking about college does not have to be stressful. When college admission process is stretched out over several years, the entire experience can be transformed from something stressful into something wonderful! We are not suggesting that you turn up the fire under a student by talking about the difficulties of getting into top US universities. However, encouraging a student to improve public speaking skills and to get involved in the community not only helps improve one’s college admission profile but also provides students with opportunities to interact with the community in ways that would not have otherwise been possible. Activities that are undertaken early add significant weight to the “Accomplishments” section of a college application and therefore make a big difference in admission. Perhaps more important, they can also provide your child with potentially life-changing experiences.
When it comes to admission, a gradual process is far more effective and less stressful than cramming everything into the summer before senior year. With colleges looking for a long record of good grades, personal challenges, meaningful accomplishments, and community-oriented activities, the earlier one begins, the more likely it is that a student will have a successful, stress-free matriculation to a college of his/her choice.
Remember—dates, deadlines, and opportunities sneak up and slip past quickly—and those poised to take advantage of them will reap the rewards. While on the one hand it may seem counterintuitive to talk to students about college at such a young age, doing so will ease the burden and the pressure that they feel later when GPA, test scores, test dates, APs, college essays, and extracurricular opportunities become fodder for daily discussions among peer groups and parents. Start the discussion today. For more information, please contact the college admission experts at Chyten Educational Services: 800-428-TEST (8378)