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Accepting Your Child’s Choice of College

The college dream starts as early as primary school for some. It’s usually fueled by their parents’ aspirations, especially if they graduated from a prestigious school and they want their child to attend when it’s time. Young hopefuls may also want to attend the same university that taught an influential person they admire. They may even get their first university merchandise as a Christmas gift as a sort of encouragement for their dream.

If that’s how it was for your child, they may have a hard time admitting that they had changed their mind. Maybe they’re considering a different, but equally prestigious university. Maybe they wanted to change their plans for their life. Whatever it is that changed their mind, you should show support unconditionally. Do the following to show them that you have their back:

Help Them Fill Out Their Application Forms

It’s normal for students to have a backup, so they will have other options should their original plan fails. However, if they’ve changed their heart and would prefer to go to a university known to compete with the one everyone expected them to attend, they may not have prepared to apply for it.

Now is your chance to show them your full support by preparing everything they need. You may even find a college admissions consultant to inquire about differences when it comes to the different universities. Each one may consider different values, so you should know how to apply in a way that sets your child apart from the thousands of other applicants.

Encourage Them to Talk Openly About Their Choice

Mother talking to her teenage daughterIt can be scary for your child to openly admit that they don’t want to go to the university everyone else in the family went to, but if they are sure of their choice, you should not make them regret it.

The choice of campus should not be enough to strain family ties, especially because no one knows whether they’ll get in. When they do get in, they will appreciate having the family congratulate them and being proud of their achievement. Remember that the choice of campus is not about prestige, it’s about getting into the academic institution that best fits your child’s interests.

Talk to the Family

It’s one thing to encourage an applicant to talk about their choice, but it’s even better to see everyone accepting the change openly. For family members who are deeply loyal to their university, they may feel betrayed or let down. They may even think that your child is choosing a different school just to spite the family name.

It’s your job as the parent to protect your already-stressed child from all the unnecessary drama over something that will benefit your child’s future. Everyone may have their opinions, but talk to them so they can express their feelings and not hurt or belittle your child in any way. The last thing you want is for your child to go through all the discussion with their relatives, and for it to stress them enough that they end up not getting into the university they want.

The choice of college is your child’s prerogative. Remind everyone that while their opinion is appreciated, this is not about them.


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