It’s the time of year when high school seniors all over town are hustling to get those college applications finished. I can almost hear the groaning and feel the slouching and squirming around in desk chairs from here. Or, maybe not. Maybe it depends on whether your very own parent is present when that application is being worked on…
I played host to a friend’s daughter while she worked on a college application the other day. I’ve know this adorable young lady since she was a very adorable little toddler, wandering around at an open house when my daughter was a student in her mother’s class in early elementary school. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her grow into an amazing young woman with a good head on her shoulders, a kind spirit, and enough backbone to get along in this world. She needed a place to spend a couple hours working on her applications so she ended up at my kitchen table, just like the good old days.
I warned her as she started that those applications can get frustrating. It seemed to me when I was going through them with my own offspring like they were some sort of psychological test designed to measure our thresholds for frustration. We failed. And it was frustrating as my young guest got started. There was trouble with old email addresses and previous passwords and whatnot. But rather then moaning and squirming and generally freaking out, she tried this and that and googled solutions and soon had things figured out and was back to work.
I was pretty impressed with that kid’s composure as she went through the process of filling out that application. She had an occasional question for me. I helped her get the name of one club she was involved in right by bringing in yearbooks to consult. But mostly she worked on things on her own. She’d brought some papers with her and I assume they had some of the personal data she’d need to answer some of the questions. She took notes as she went so she’d remember her user names and passwords on the school websites. She was a trooper.
At one point one of my friends dropped by. She’s a mom, like me, and knows this young lady well. We asked our young friend if she thought she was behaving in such a mature way because she was with other people’s moms and not her own. That got a small grin and a quick giggle, and she said that might have something to do with it. I had to chuckle myself.
It’s an interesting idea. Maybe we should trade teens for those stressful tasks in life. If our teens were working on an unpleasant task with someone else’s mom, would they do less moaning and squirming?! I may have hit on a genius idea here. Or it may be that my teen guest was just happens to be very well behaved and a particularly balanced personality.
Anybody working through college applications with their teens?