“Travis has done nothing.” Kathryn a mother from East Lyme, Connecticut noted about her son’s college search. She then relayed what I’ve heard so many times through the years – particularly about boys – that he tunes out discussions about college. She had heard about our college counseling from other parents at East Lyme High School and even though she thought she would be able to guide her son – since Kathryn was a school teacher who helped many students with their college essays – she realized that an outside source would be best.
As I tell parents, I realize that some part of our success in college counseling is that we are not the parents. It could be that I provide the same college counseling advice to a child that a parent provides, but I am…I say with laughter… the college counseling master.
But there are also some advantages that I have in providing college counseling to 17 year olds for the last couple of decades. I know their language. I know their motivational buttons. I know what inspires them.
With Travis, I knew he enjoyed movies. So, he was easy. I gave my “write your own movie script” speech. I’ll spare you the full lecture but essentially I tell young people how lucky they are that their movies have yet to be fully written. They are at a crucial point in the story when they first “come of age”. That’s the great transition point in any movie about growing up. I then will gently guide them to a discussion about why college is their next “movie set”. You can choose….. I continue describing the people, location, courses etc.
Travis told his mom that he wanted to start college visits as soon as possible 🙂