Just show up

Last night, we held our third and final Senior Parent Back to School Night at Collegewise.  In total, nearly 70 parents joined us over the span of those three nights to hear the updates on our work with their kids, to spend a little time with their Collegewise counselors, and to make sure they were informed participants on their student's journey to college.

Sure the Italian food probably helped lure them.  The fact that we promised them wine probably help lure them a lot.  But mostly, this was a group of parents who showed up because it was all about supporting the kids.  For these parents, it didn't matter that they were tired or that this was their third school or college-related event this week or that they were passing up time at home.  They gave up time to come to an evening of college information because they wanted to participate in their kids' college admissions process in a constructive way.

A lot of parents struggle to find the right ways to help their college applicants.  It's a difficult balancing act trying to let kids find their own way, yet also making sure you help enough without unintentionally taking over the process for them. 

But the most important thing a parent can do for their college applicant is to show up.  If the high school puts on a college information night, show up.  If there's a college fair in your city, show up.  When it's time to plan college visits, when your kids need a little cheerleading to boost their spirits, when they need to be reminded that they're still a good person even though their SAT scores didn't raise as much as they'd hoped, just show up. 

You don't necessarily have to handle the situation perfectly every time (as that's just not a reasonable expectation).  But just showing up is half the college admissions battle.