WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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42 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 5 just thinking about the college process for your high school student can cause pangs of anxiety. The countless pieces of the college puzzle can be overwhelming to say the least. Unless you have been living in denial or under a rock, you have heard chatter from friends, fam- ily, acquaintances, and maybe even your own high school students about ED, EA, RD, The Common App, SATs, the new SATS, ACTs, EFC, merit grants, and athletic scholarships. Whether you have a freshman in high school or a rising senior, you are not the only person who isn't in the know about the extensive scope of higher education. As I stumbled my way through the early stages of the college application process with my oldest daughter, I kept asking myself, "Why am I struggling so much?" I have deduced that this difficulty stemmed from two main facts. First, I have been there and done this before. As a matter of fact, I did it all by myself with little help from any high school advisor or my parents. As a child of an Irish immigrant, I was the first in my immediate family to attend and graduate from college. Why does it seem so different this time? My second reason is an extension of the first. I am an educated woman who has a BS and an MBA. I have worked in corporate America and played a role in a family business. Why don't I get this? When I hear many anxiety-ridden parents ask the question, "Where do I begin?" I think about my experience as a parent launching three teens in the last five years. Whether this is your first or fifth child to send off to college, take a step back and look at the big picture. Recognize that apply- ing to college has changed in the last 25- plus years since you applied and accept the fact that there are countless facets to the college process with which you will need to become acquainted. At any phase during this stressful time, the following practical suggestions can be implemented to reduce the power of the college equation. Step #1 Breathe. Just breathe! Breathing deeply is the most important piece of advice anyone can give you. Take it slowly and try to remain calm even though, I can assure you, going through this process will be very difficult, espe- cially in the beginning. The good news is, it does get easier. Step #2 Look at this process as a marathon, not a sprint. If done well, the college matriculation process will take time, energy, and effort to successfully maneuver, both on your part and your teen. In order to cross the finish line with confidence, you and your student will have to plan for the long haul and establish a comfortable pace. Teenagers + College = STRESS Steps to Help Reduce the Power of this Equation [ forum ] T E R R Y G R E E N E C L A R K writer TERRY GREENE CLARK is a long-time Weston resident who has recently published the book demystifying COLLEGE ADMISSIONS A Parent-to-Parent Guide to the Reality of the College Process. Available at Wellesley Books and online at www.amazon.com.

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