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Make a JOYful noise

Every fall is full of excitement and back-to-school jitters for parents and students alike. Whether you have a rising freshman or senior, the to-do lists are long and energy levels wane as everyone adjusts to new schedules. This year is no different, but from what I’m hearing, the college chatter seems to be getting a little louder than in previous years. It’s easy to get sucked into the chatter around planning and applying to college. Are you hearing the chatter?

In the last six weeks I've had more students and parents contact me in a state of panic because they heard something at school or read something on social media that made them believe they were behind in their planning— not meeting college application deadlines, late registering for the ACT or SAT, or not yet meeting with college admissions reps.

I’m giving you permission (empowering you, actually) to help me transform the noise into a more JOYFUL noise.

I know, I know, it’s easy for me to say, but it’s true! The more control students and parents take to seek JOY in this crazy college process, the more chatter will cease to be so loud. Otherwise, the chatter and anxiety are going to continue to get louder. (And I’m not perfect, by the way. There are times I get sucked into the chatter.)

Here are some ways to find JOY in the college process:

  • EnJOY watching campus videos on YouTube (with a bowl of popcorn, of course).

  • Whether you've finished a college essay, volunteered at the local food pantry, completed the tennis season, or caught up on sleep after a long band competition weekend, find something to celebrate.

  • Wear your favorite college t-shirt to school (or host a college t-shirt day at the office).

  • Tour a college campus over a long weekend.

  • Share one fun college fact over the dinner table with your family. Each person has to contribute!

  • EnJOY fall with a pumpkin spice latte from a Starbucks on a college campus.

  • Choose an organization to volunteer at or to support as a family. There is no better way to invite more joy into our busy lives than to serve others. I recommend selecting an organization that has special meaning to every family member.

The college process too often is defined by acceptance, denial, and the final outcome. Mindful navigation of the process puts less stress on your family.

The journey is equally important. The journey should be full of JOY.


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