DONT USE THIS IN PRINT OR ONLINE EXCEPT AS TSR

Stop bugging high school seniors with questions about college

Give high school seniors who are stressed to the max a break — find something else to talk about.

It’s been 25 years since my senior year, but watching my son experience the stress of college admissions is bringing it all back again. Since universities across the country have different decision dates, many students are stuck still not knowing what the future holds for them.

If you encounter a high school senior this year, here’s a list of things I encourage you not to say:

1. Where are you going to school next year? (Many students don’t know yet because they are still waiting for admittance information. Asking them this question is like jabbing a needle into an open wound of stress.)

2. I would never go to State College X. That’s a party school. (All colleges have parties. I went to Stanford and attended my share of ragers.)

3. What do you mean, you’re not going to college? (Trade schools, military service and taking gap years are all valid options.)

4. Community college isn’t the same as “real” college. (Some of the smartest people I know graduated from community college and went on to wildly successful careers.)

5. How are you going to afford Expensive College X? (That’s between the student, their parents and the financial aid office.)

6. Choosing dorm life is a waste of money when you could be living at home. (You have no idea what this 18-year-old needs.)

7. You should be living in a dorm instead of staying at home. You can’t truly experience college unless you live on campus. (I repeat: you have no idea what this 18-year-old needs.)

8. Going to Prestigious College X is a waste of money. You should go to a cheaper school instead. (Unless you graduated high school as your class valedictorian with 90 college credits and straight As, you don’t get a vote on this one.)

9. Liberal Arts College X won’t prepare you for anything. (Smaller classrooms and more opportunity to engage with professors are huge draws. How exciting!)

10. Those classes at Big College X will be so gigantic you won’t learning anything. (People have learned in lecture halls for centuries.)

This list might make you wonder, “Well what the heck can I ask an 18-year-old the next time I see them?” Don’t worry, I have three questions you can fall back on.

1. How are you doing?

2. Do you have any fun plans for summer?

3. Are you excited about registering to vote?

If they bring up college, trade school, military service or a gap year, great. Let them lead the conversation. Otherwise, please, for the sake of all these high school seniors out there who are stressed to the max, find something else to talk about.

Jennifer Bardsley is the author of “Sweet Bliss,” “Good Catch” and more. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at teachingmybabytoread@gmail.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Whidbey duo uses fencing to teach self-discipline, sportsmanship to youth

Bob Tearse and Joseph Kleinman are sharing their sword-fighting expertise with young people on south Whidbey Island.

Lily Gladstone poses at the premiere of the Hulu miniseries "Under the Bridge" at the DGA Theatre, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Mountlake Terrace’s Lily Gladstone plays cop in Hulu’s ‘Under the Bridge’

The true-crime drama started streaming Wednesday. It’s Gladstone’s first part since her star turn in “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

A giant Bigfoot creation made by Terry Carrigan, 60, at his home-based Skywater Studios on Sunday, April 14, 2024 in Monroe, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
The 1,500-pound Sasquatch: Bigfoot comes to life in woods near Monroe

A possibly larger-than-life sculpture, created by Terry Carrigan of Skywater Studios, will be featured at this weekend’s “Oddmall” expo.

Craig Chambers takes orders while working behind the bar at Obsidian Beer Hall on Friday, April 12, 2024, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Obsidian Beer Hall takes over former Toggle’s space in downtown Everett

Beyond beer, the Black-owned taphouse boasts a chill vibe with plush sofas, art on the walls and hip-hop on the speakers.

Glimpse the ancient past in northeast England

Hadrian’s Wall stretches 73 miles across the isle. It’s still one of England’s most thought-provoking sights.

I accidentally paid twice for my hotel. Can I get a refund?

Why did Valeska Wehr pay twice for her stay at a Marriott property in Boston? And why won’t Booking.com help her?

How do you want your kids to remember you when they grow up?

Childhood flies by, especially for parents. So how should we approach this limited time while our kids are still kids?

The Ford Maverick has seating for five passengers. Its cargo bed is 4.5 feet long. (Photo provided by Ford)
2024 Ford Maverick compact pickup undergoes a switch

The previous standard engine is now optional. The previous optional engine is now standard.

Dalton Dover performs during the 2023 CMA Fest on Friday, June 9, 2023, at the Spotify House in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

The Red Hot Chili Pipers come to Edmonds, and country artist Dalton Dover performs Friday as part of the Everett Stampede.

2024 Genesis G70 Sport Prestige RWD (Photo provided by Genesis)
Genesis Unveils 2024 G70 Sports Prestige Sedan

Combining power, luxury, and innovation, Genesis raises the bar yet again with enhanced performance and cutting-edge features in its latest model.

wisteria flower in Japan
Give your garden a whole new dimension with climbing plants

From clematis and jasmine to wisteria and honeysuckle, let any of these vine varieties creep into your heart – and garden.

Lynnwood
New Jersey company acquires Lynnwood Land Rover dealership

Land Rover Seattle, now Land Rover Lynnwood, has been purchased by Holman, a 100-year-old company.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.