Dealing with your family while you decide

Most seniors have got most of their notices in by now, and most have to decide by May 1. That's about six weeks of thinking and researching and visiting and thinking and talking and thinking.

If you haven't had a serious discussion with your family about money and cost yet, you're really running out of time. Hopefully you've already gone over the details enough that you've eliminated choices that you can't afford, but haven't eliminated any you actually can afford.

When it comes to seeking advice, remember that it really is ok to talk to your parents. They know you well and are invested in your success. Don't be afraid to reach out to them just because they're, you know, your parents.

But if your family is trying to get more involved than you can handle, feel free to send them this article from the Today show. It's a list of eight things the writer advises parents in your situation to do. And most of them are basically "stop bugging people your child about college!" Have the link ready, and just send it to their phone every time they ask. Even if it's several times a day. They'll get the hint.

And if your family is expressing disappointment or annoying surprise that you didn't get accepted somewhere, you can share this with them: Malala Yousafzai is probably going to Oxford...if she gets good enough grades. Now, then British system is different than ours, and getting a "conditional acceptance" from Oxford is not exactly the same as getting deferred here. But you don't have to tell your parents that! Just reiterate that Malala, who is the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, who is a best-selling author, who has already experienced more adversity than most of us ever will in our entire lives, was told that she can maybe go to her dream college but they have to check her final test grades first. That ought to help put things into perspective.

If you need even more empathy for dealing with parents in this stressful time, you can always turn to Will Smith

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