Take Away College Pressure by Working with Your Parents

parents college pressure

Since before high school, people have been talking to you about going to college. As the tasks of applying to college near, it may start to feel stressful. You may even find that the process brings up some anxiety for you. After all, there’s a lot to do between writing essays, researching colleges, finding out about scholarships and filling out financial aid forms.


That is why it is important to work in a collaborative way with your parents. Your parents want the best for you, and they will likely offer tips and suggestions to help reduce your stress.


Talk Honestly with One Another

Like you, your parents will have thoughts and ideas about what they believe are the right steps for you to take in the future. When they want to talk about these, take time to listen and ask questions. Respect their opinions and ideas. You’re likely to find that they make points about things that you have yet to consider, and they offer guidance in areas you may be finding stressful.


Of course, these conversations should be a two-way street, so share your ideas and concerns too. Talk about the pressures and uncertainties. Ask for help. Invite suggestions.


Get the facts

You and your parents may not agree at every step along the college application journey, and that’s OK. As you strike that balance between your needs and their ideas, having more information about college offerings and future opportunities can help. Great tools are available online to help you research your options:


  • The College Search Tool helps you investigate colleges and universities, including their acceptance criteria, deadlines and costs.
  • Explore majors and your interests early on so that you can clearly articulate why an area of study suits your needs.
  • Understand opportunities that may exist for you following college so that you and your parents can discuss the impact of college loans.
  • Learn about various options to help pay for college. After all, part of your decision will be based on family finances.


Gather the information that you and your parents need to have productive conversations and make the right choices for everyone involved.


Enjoy the experience

Yes, preparing for college can be a stressful time – both for you and your parents. There are a lot of different options that could define your future, but it should also be a fun time. As you go through the process, do so together. Try these ideas so that everyone is comfortable with the process:


  • Make a road trip out of visiting colleges and spend some time together.
  • Ask your parents about their college or other education experiences. Learn what it was like for them when they were younger.
  • Work together to create a checklist/timeline of when various activities need to be completed. If everyone knows early on what to expect, it will help cut down on worry and frustration for all.
  • As decisions start to roll in, celebrate with your family because you should all be excited for your future.


While you are the one who will be heading off to college to tackle an exciting, new future, applying and paying for college are truly a family affair. It’s important that you work with your parents and keep the lines of communication open during this time. Lean on your parents as partners in the process: Not only will working together help reduce their worry, it will also help to reduce your level of stress.