Helping teens when their college choice says "NO"

FOX Medical Team

Helping teens when their college choice says "NO"

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It can be so hard, when the school you want so badly to say "yes," says "no."

Licensed Psychologist Wendy Dickinson, Ph.D., of Grow Counseling says, "It really is, in so many ways, the death of a dream. It's something they've been working for, and trying to accomplish. And there's a season of grief, I think, that has to happen."

Dickinson says some teens bounce back quickly from rejection, and move on to the next school. But, she says, "There are some students that really have invested a lot into this particular dream, or hope, of getting into a school, and for those students it takes a little bit longer."

For many teens, the college application process is their first real taste of a the high-stakes, high pressure world of adulthood.

So, a rejection - can feel like a failure. Dickinson says it's normal for teens - and parents - to feel disappointed, even hurt.

But, she says, at some point, you have to push through that. She says, "If you get stuck there, it can lead to bitterness, anger and disappointment. Sometimes it's helpful to enlist people around you. When you're in the middle of something, it's hard to see other opportunities that are around you, or what the next step is.

That's where parents can help: pointing out back-up schools, helping students find their Plan B. Dickinson says it's also a time self-assessment for parents, to look at the amount of pressure they're putting on their teen. If you're feeling disappointed, try to avoid focusing on your emotions. Instead, concentrate on how you can help your teen reinvent his or her college dream, at a new school that might be an even better fit.

For more health tips, follow the FOX Medical Team on twitter: @Fox5MedicalTeam.

 

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