You’re All Grown Up! But How Do You Show Mom and Dad You Can Make The Right College Decision?
Choosing which college you’ll be attending for the next four or more years of your life is no simple decision. Your parents will likely be closely involved in your decision, and if you’re like many prospective college students, there can a clash between the school Mom and Dad would love to see you graduate from, and the school you find yourself most compatible with. Before we were your Sorority Apparel, Fraternity Apparel, and Greek Merchandise headquarters, we had to go through this same college decision process, and we know it’s no easy time in your life. We’re here to make it a little smoother for you!
Understand The Parental Thought Process
The first step to getting Mom and Dad onboard with your college choice is understanding where they’re coming from. They’re not going with a different college choice just to frustrate or oppose you. Your parents want you to have a better, more prosperous and fulfilling life than they have, which is why they want to be sure you’re attending the best college possible. Their parents wanted a better life for them, and you’ll want the same for your kids one day, too. Of course, this can come along with some pressure, as your parents may feel your future resides on this decision. Understand that your parents do have your best interests in mind, and simply need to see that you are capable of making an educated, responsible decision on your own.
Tour It Right
During campus tours and open houses, most prospective students are 30% interested in how well the college’s academic programs are, and 70% interested in college life – college athletics, clubs and on-campus activities, cafeteria food quality, what the dorm rooms are like, and what there actually is to do on campus! Parents on the other hand are typically primarily interested in the quality of academic programs, athletic scholarships if applicable to you, and post-graduation job placement rates. Instead of becoming frustrated every time Mom stops to ask the tour guide about how many students got a job in their field, listen to what she’s saying, and then follow-up with a mention about an aspect that’s important to you, such as how much you’ll love eating in the cafeteria instead of spending your money at Arby’s off campus. If there’s something you dislike that doesn’t seem to matter much to Mom and Dad, instead of saying “There’s nothing to do on campus”, constructively say, “This school has its benefits, but I’d also like to see it have more campus activities, to help me really absorb college life and take a breather from studying once in awhile”. Always include a concrete reason for why you like or dislike the school.
Show Them You’re A Grown Up
We often see that parents tend not to realize their “little” girl or boy is all grown up and capable of making a responsible decision. Yet, your parents do have some real-world experience under their belts, and probably have some good points, too. If your college decisions still clash, ask them to make a list on why they want you to go to that college, and do the same thing yourself with your college choice. The ideal list should have a pretty equal mix of academic and scholarship related points, as well as college life points, such as the cafeteria food or the great clubs that you can a part of. Yet, as a prospective college student, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that college is just about partying and base your decision on that, so we ask that you do listen to what Mom and Dad have to say, and ask them to respect your points, and the reasoning behind each, as well. Then, scrap both lists and work together on a brand new list that equally represents both you and your parent’s points.