As of May 1, seniors who are attending college next year have officially decided where they will land in the fall. For most, there is still a full month of high school remaining and they need to be encouraged to attend and stay engaged.
Even so, we all know that most seniors at this point in the year are not feeling the urgency of working as hard and are enjoying their final month of school.
Juniors, on the other hand, are typically feeling more stress as they hear where their senior friends did and did not receive admission offers. Juniors are dealing with another two months of classes and for them, these grades really do matter.
Many students are in the process of taking the SAT and/or the ACT; some are also preparing for AP exams and SAT subject tests. Extracurricular activities continue at full speed for athletes, actors, musicians, volunteers, etc. And, as always, many teens have a job.
The pressure to excel on all of these fronts can get out of hand and we as parents need to intervene if we see our child becoming overly anxious. It is important to be supportive and help brainstorm ideas to lessen the load if things become overwhelming.
It may be helpful to reach out to a counselor to help put things in perspective and determine which area(s) may need to be put on hold until after these busy months. And, as hard as it sounds, all teens need to get a full night’s sleep (8-9 hours) to perform at their best.
Many students can benefit from parents letting them know that while they need to do their best at this point in high school – to give themselves the greatest number of options for their future – they do not have to be perfect.
It is also helpful to reassure students that there are many wonderful colleges that are open to them and that will be a good fit academically, socially and financially, provided they are willing to keep an open mind and engage in a thorough search process.
Wherever you may be in the process, let’s all make sure to get out and enjoy some spring weather too!