Tips to help make the upcoming holiday season easier for your senior (sent 11/22/19)

Dear Parents,

As you all know, this can be an incredibly busy time of year for our senior class. Not only are they keeping up with their academics, extra-curricular activities, and social life, but most of them are also spending a good amount of time planning for their post-high school experiences. For those applying to four-year colleges and universities, this can be a highly charged and stressful time, and it is not just about the process of completing applications.

Another thing that may be causing your student to feel some anxiety is the never-ending talk about applications and the "what's next" conversations. While they wait and wonder that very thing, many people will be asking them where they applied, where they want to go, and truly, they may just don't know yet!

So, as we near the holiday season with relatives and friends having nothing but great intentions, please remind them to not ask your student where they have applied. Maybe a more general question about life, such as "what classes are you enjoying this year?" or "how is senior year going?" Then, your student can drive the conversation and share as much or as little as they choose.

Also, encourage your senior to not let the process take over their lives. It is healthy to take some time away from applications for fun, to spend time with friends and family, and to enjoy the holidays. To support this idea, here is some similar advice from the Director of Admission at Tulane University from his blog. I shared this advice with your students and particularly like this piece that is particularly relevant for next week's holiday:

"Let Thanksgiving be a college-free zone. Everyone is going to ask where you applied, where you got in, where you want to go. Set some ground rules with the fam. Mom and Dad, you might have to lead this charge. Let this be a time with your family to decompress, truly enjoy each other's company, and leave all that college-talk for some other time. There's not much that can be changed now, so getting into stressful conversations over turkey won't help anyone. Go play some football instead."

Have a wonderful holiday!


Lisa Neumaier

College & Career Specialist

Sir Francis Drake High School

(415) 458-3481 - direct line