Parent College Coach Tip #30: Avoid the Back to School Chaos

back to school chaosAdmit it. You’re glad summer is over. You’ve heard all the “I’m bored” you can handle. But, also admit that with back to school comes utter chaos, especially if you have a college-bound teen. There will be extracurriculars to participate in, standardized tests to take, course selection, essays to write, scholarships to apply for, and college visits to make. If you’re not careful your head will be spinning and something will fall between the cracks.

Get organized for back to school

It’s no surprise that you’re going to be inundated with all kinds of paperwork: college brochures, test information, college fair and college day brochures, and scholarship applications. Organization is key to putting everything in a place that you can easily find the documents you need. Without organization, deadlines will be missed and important meetings will be missed.

Pace yourself

The college prep race is a marathon. It requires endurance and perseverance. Pace yourself or you will crash and burn. Take the time to plan and prepare. Don’t work yourself into a frenzy and cause your teen added stress. Take every task as it comes and focus on the prize.

Determine priorities

To avoid chaos, determine your college prep priorities. Since you are the parent college coach, guide your teen in the tasks that need to be done. Offer encouragement, reminders, and help when needed. Parents are an important part of the college prep process and can help their students set priorities for the upcoming school year.

No one functions well in chaos, although we like to think we do. Chaos always causes stress and there’s already enough of that involved in choosing and applying to colleges. A certain amount of back to school chaos is inevitable–schedules change, schools change, and family dynamics often change. But parents set the tone for the school year. Staying calm will go a long way in reducing stress around college prep.

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