Their relief, and yours

Seniors, if your family just can’t quite put a Thanksgiving moratorium on college application talk, high school counselor Patrick O’Connor offers up some of his typically sage advice in Applying to College? Here’s How to Survive Thanksgiving. Here’s his suggested method for handling questions like, “Do you think this afternoon might be a good time to work on your essays?”

“This requires preparation. Put together a spreadsheet ahead of time with the name of every college you’re applying to, the date each application is due and the date you will work on that application. Print out a copy and keep it in your back pocket, saving it for this moment, when you open it with a modest flourish, hand it to your parents, and say, ‘I’ve got it covered. Have a great lunch.’”

Not a spreadsheet person? No problem. The particular method you use isn’t important. What’s important is to be prepared to provide more than, “I’ve got this—stop asking me!” Make a list, a schedule, or some other tangible proof that you’re holding yourself accountable. Your parents’ relief will bring you some relief, too.