“Congratulations! You’ve been admitted…” It’s every student and parent’s dream to read those words upon clicking that Status Update button. As Early Action and Early Decision results come out this week, your home might be filled with emotions: elation, disappointment, shock, regret, pride, and more. It can also be an anxiety-inducing time for parents and applicants. This week, we share tips from mental health experts on how to be okay no matter what happens during the first round of college admissions decisions.
Remember that life is not all-or-nothing
“Teenagers engage in ‘all-or-nothing’ thinking when they view their options as severely black and white, either/or and dichotomous, while not considering the middle ground.” — Dr. Aaron Montgomery, adolescent psychologist
If your student is devastated from a rejection letter, she might be thinking that if she gets into her top choice school, she will be comfortable for life. If she resorts to her safety school, she’ll receive a bad quality education. College decisions are never so black and white. As your student’s guide, let your student feel those feelings of disappointment, then give a gentle reminder to redirect our thinking toward the more realistic middle ground. Dr. Montgomery recommends this: “Help your child see that their mood and the quality of their education depends on many factors other than which school they attend.”
Remember that we can’t control college decisions, but we can control other aspects of life
“For anxiety, for example, we know that it comes from being in situations where we don’t perceive we have the amount of control we would want…Trying to build in pockets of control where they feel like they do have some things that are kind of under their control or are in their schedule can also be helpful, because it makes them feel like it’s not 100% out of their control.” — Dr. Kristin Bachman, adolescent psychologist
If you or your student is feeling anxious and sleepless on the days leading up to the early round decisions, it might be because you feel