Relieving the Tension
Many of you on Monday were recipients of texts, calls or emails with “OMG’s” and shrills of excitements from your daughters that Veritas Vacation Day had finally arrived, and no better time than Monday since we have noticed a “high volume” of stress and anxiety in recent weeks.
The counseling offices also get the sense that you may be experiencing a high level of this tension at home, too, and we wanted you to be aware that we are getting ourselves aligned with how to help the girls not only deal with the stress that comes with being in a college preparatory and academically competitive environment, but we are also in discussion with all community members about what our roles might be in contributing to the stress.
Our goal as a community is to send your daughters out into the world with academic readiness and resilience, but to also empower them with the tools to identify their personal limits and set boundaries so they can live healthy, balanced lives. We are finding that the emphasis on self-care is much needed in this time. We are hoping to teach the importance of self-care here at SAA in the future, and we encourage the self-care conversation take place at home, too.
Coffee with the Counselors – Spring Edition
The College Counselors are happy to host two more Coffee with the Counselors events in the spring. Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (senior parents) and Thursday, March 27, 2014 (junior parents).
Each of these events will be in the Strake Family Cafeteria at St. Agnes and will begin promptly at 8:15 a.m. We promise to have you on the road no later than 9:00 a.m. Coffee will be served.
Junior Parents will get a glimpse of continuing spring counseling with the Class of 2015, advice about testing, planning college visits and the impending application season. Senior Parents will hear about making final decisions, Madonna Day, scholarships and graduation.
We hope to see many of you for our spring edition of Coffee with the Counselors!
It’s a question heard around the world (or at least at St. Agnes) during “college application season.” Students wonder “how do I get noticed by my potential college?” The answer is simple. Show interest in them first. Demonstrate your interest in a college by taking advantage of visiting with college admissions representatives. In the fall of 2013, we hosted over 115 colleges on our campus. This spring we will host several colleges. Our juniors are reminded weekly of the visits. We also tell them that the representatives are here because they want to talk to them!
Have your daughters attend college fairs and fill out those cards asking for their name, address and other information. Your daughter should contact the campus rep via email and introduce herself. If you all are on campus, take an official tour and make sure the college knows that your daughter is there to see them! An interview can be a great way for her to shine. Take advantage of an interview if your potential college offers one. This is not required by many colleges.
With the abundance of college applications in admission offices each year, sometimes the extra attention your daughter pays to a college or the conversation she had with a representative can tip her application into the “yes” pool. In general, most private colleges like to see students show interest beyond just submitting an application and will even ask you why you are interested in their university or college on the application. So if you don’t know who is keeping a record, play it safe. She should show interest in all of her colleges. Ask questions, interview if possible and go to college fairs. This will help her get to know the schools inside and out and to see if the two are a match made in heaven. In the end, that’s what it’s about, right?
I Got Nominated!
When I opened my email this past Friday, I received an email from the National Youth Leadership Forum: Leadership in Medicine congratulating me on my nomination to attend their summer program. They had also reviewed my scholarship application and had awarded me $800 toward my tuition for the conference. There were several locations for me to choose from to attend the forum. I just needed to complete the application by March 14th. Not only am I too old for these high school geared programs; I was the worst science and math student in my graduating class. I might also add that several of my counseling colleagues have received this same email.
It is that time of the year when students are getting emails or embossed invitations in the mail. You are made to feel very special with the words that accompany the invitation. The companies are numerous; National Youth Leadership Forum, National Youth Leadership Conference, Congressional Student Leadership Conference, People to People and Leadership Classroom. Many of these programs tell potential participants that they are “the nation’s most acclaimed students” and “most promising leaders of tomorrow.” How does this happen? Students nominate other students and companies purchase mailing lists and hundreds of thousands of high school students receive invitations.
We are not discounting that the experience might be well-suited for some of our students. We want parent to be aware that many of these programs are costly and do not advance a student’s potential at any particular college or university campus. An article written for the New York Times a few years ago states that there is no evidence that these programs have a lasting effect.
We ask that you consider how you spend discretionary dollars on your daughters. We believe campus visits are much more valuable and money spent in a more effective fashion. Many of the skills your daughters learn as they progress are acquired through summer camps, volunteer opportunities and life experiences.
If you ever need to ask about anything your daughter receives, just let us know. We are here to help.