Earn trust by taking charge

Many students I’ve met feel frustrated during the college admissions process because their parents don’t seem to trust them to handle it. Parents stand over their students, suggesting colleges, offering ideas for essay topics, and even taking on the role of a project manager to make sure that nothing slips by during this crucial time.

If you’re a student in (or worried you will be in) this scenario, here’s a suggestion—start taking charge.

Instead of disagreeing with your parents’ choices of colleges, do some thorough research on schools that you like.

Instead of ignoring their suggestions for essay topics, find the prompts for the schools that interest you and start working on some drafts.

Instead of rolling your eyes when your parents try to organize the process for you, develop—and use—your own system to track what’s required, what’s due, and when colleges need it.

Sure, your parents may still elect to stay involved. But the fastest way to get them to back off a little might be to earn some trust by taking charge.