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  • Writer's pictureDr. Thom

New Year's Resolutions for a Healthy College Search

I honestly don't get the cultural side-glances that some people get for making new year's resolutions. Somehow in our hipster-driven culture, setting annual intentions at the beginning of the year is just so . . . basic.

"It's so, common." So are sunsets.

"But people don't stick to them." Yeah, change is hard.

As my friend John Michael Morgan says, "If the date on a calendar helps you start changing habits, then great! Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise."

Besides, recording your intentions and goals at the turning of a new year traces its roots to the Babylonians some 4,000 years ago. You know what else the Babylonians came up with? The wheel. Math. The concept of time itself.

So make your resolutions and join the rest of us in sounding out our intentions here at the start of the new year and decade. For me and Golden Educational Consulting, we have experienced a year of tremendous growth. We are working with more families all over the country, we have partnered with more like-minded organizations through our Good Grows Together program, and we're seeing the seeds of wellness-based college search take root and thrive. You are not only a part of this movement to put the needs of our children ahead of the college hype and marketing. You ARE this movement.

For 2020, we are hard at work to expand our services to help more families, enhance our online resources to help you and your family be better informed about your college options, and to continue to do more to help students on the ASD spectrum find the right college home for them. This is set-up to be a breakthrough year for us and for you.

Setting your College Search Resolutions

As you think about this coming year, perhaps you are looking to get healthier, or grow your business or career, or perhaps you are looking to improve relationships. Perhaps you about to set off on the college application and enrollment journey this year. Like a lot of people, you might be experiencing this reality with an odd mixture of nervous energy and nostalgia for how fast this whole thing went. Perhaps you are outright terrified of the process and feel overwhelmed. Let's set some resolutions to figure this out together.

Resolution 1: Lean in to knowable information

Our custom junior programs are launching this month and one of the first things we will be discussing with our member families is that we must recognize that there are two types of anxiety in the college search:

A) the fear of an unknown future: this is a baseline anxiety that comes from simply not knowing what is going to happen next. We talk about options as having a likely or probable outcome, but we don't have any magic beans here.

B) the fear of an information inadequacy: We met with a family recently who was experiencing a significant amount of stress about the college search due to an overwhelming fear of "not even knowing what I should be asking." Now this is an area in which you can resolve to lean in. There is information out there that is in fact knowable information. This is the heart of our program - to help our families walk with confidence through education and information.

Resolution 2: Raise your standards on what a successful college search looks like

The goal of the college search is NOT to have your son or daughter go to [insert name] college. The goal of search is to a) teach your student how to make effective adult decisions, b) to maintain the financial and emotional health of the student and family, no college is worth sacrificing these (I do not care what it is ranked), and c) to still be talking to each other when the process is over. The college is just a by-product of the process; it is NOT the goal. I do not care what the brochures say.

Resolution 3: Find ways to cherish this senior year

You likely don't need reminding of this, but this year will likely be the last time your college searching student will be a full-time resident of your home. I know there are a lot of items on the to-do list for this year, but make room on the agenda for the most important thing - time together.

Together, let's resolve to make 2020 a year that banishes fear and anxiety surrounding the college search and shows our sons and daughters what healthy decision-making looks like.

Cheers to you, friend!

Not a GEC member? Feeling stressed by the college search process? Let's chat.

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