As we approach the holiday season more stress, shopping, parties, family, friends, and travel are added to our daily schedules. Most of us react instead of create a proactive strategy; we stress, lash out, run around crazy and engage negatively with anyone who crosses our path. You have one more gift, one more party, one more outfit, one more…..there is always one more. Creating a plan, and attacking it day by day will make the holidays much less crazy; do one thing everyday that lessens your burden, and include your kids in that plan. Just like college admissions; develop a long list, shop around, send thank you notes just because, volunteer for a cause even if it’s one hour, reach out to someone in need, organize a food drive with friends and family, and relax. I recently became a member of the Rensselaer Regional Chamber of Commerce and volunteered to help with the Victorian Stroll, organizing a food drive for the local food pantry, and offering a pro-bono service to an area student. It doesn’t take a lot-just the sparkle you get from doing something kind.
Just like you, the student in your house is feeling pressure of a different sort; am I good enough, my friends have all applied, I want to change my major, my best friend got in ED, what about the scholarships? Just like you, the stress, the tension, making one more visit, writing one more essay, applying to one more school; this all adds up to your student feeling angst, and worry. The season is about the energy, the moment, and the little things that we take for granted. In my experience, sitting down and reviewing your student’s plan is a priority-letting them know whatever happens is okay, and I promise you — your student will end up where they are destined to be. They will also feel the sparkle- just knowing you gave them just one more; one more conversation, one more hug, and just one more conversation that reinforces whatever happens is okay; what a gift.