Getting In: Should parents weigh in on the college choice decision or let the student decide alone?

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So, the final admissions responses are in, and the universe of options set.  Emily and all her senior friends are back in the driver’s seat, relieved to have gotten in to college, and to have choices.  If they were admitted to more than one college (as most of them were), they now have to pick.  Many of these kids, Emily included, will make a trip or two to a college where they were accepted but which they are not sure about.  The question is, do we tag along, or let her go herself?

Despite her brave, independent exterior, I know that Emily pays attention to what we think.  She may not always agree with us, and sometimes thinks we’re just old and crazy.  But sometimes, she will take a cue from what we say or don’t say to help her determine her own course.  For the first time, here in this season of first times, we really don’t think we should try to influence her decision.  Emily will have to live with the outcome, and God knows we don’t want her blaming us if she hates her college.  We are torn, really.  Does she need us?  And the judgment that comes from experience?  Or does she need to make her own way, mistakes included?  I am certain there is wisdom out there on the subject.  If you have been through these waters, you would do us a kindness to share.

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