As I put thoughts together today, my mind is racing with what to pen. So much has happened in the last month; it is crazy not to think that this past month (or more) has not left many feeling paralyzed. Over the week, I need to get a card, and as I drove to and walked in the parking lot, I have the feeling I was in a tourist area in the offseason. In my decade(s), what I can compare this recent experience too is the Blizzard of ’78 and 9/11. Both left me paralyzed and asking why? But as we did after those life-changing events, we are/should be moving forward supporting our families and friends.

As the parent of four working college graduates, the current stressors and strains bring me back to their journeys, stressful but nowhere near what current students and parents are navigating. Thoughts during these unsettling times:

Admitted Students: Congratulations! Many students are learning of their offers to join the incoming Class of 2020, their next Freshman class. Generally, to follow is an invitation to an “Accepted Students Day” program. The event held on campus is designed to take a student and their family across the finish line. It’s the “Say Yes” to the college event with deposits to follow, reserving a seat in the class, and a dorm room.

Still Thinking – Comparing Choices: College is an investment, mind, body, and money, so slowing the pace is while evaluating strengths and weaknesses, is a critical step. Academics, emotional and social stability, affordability, and an ROI that points one towards employment are all the boxes to check. Yes, some schools, those in the Elite, Ivy, small liberal arts sectors may hold their May 1 Deposit Day firm; however, hundreds of others, campuses equal in the brand and experience, are moving their dates. Breath and check their website.

Rising HS/Transfer Students: Although the Corona Virus has changed everything, many things for HS sophomores, juniors, and seniors still contemplating their path after high school remain the same. The difference is how to get it done. Testing, campus tours, evaluating colleges, and calculating college cost are some of the many critical tasks on every college planning checklist. Executing them now as we bounce back will be the key. Tours have become virtual; learning through Webinars communication turns to Skype/Facetime/phone, and Testing Dates are going to be June.

Stick to the Plan: In these times of uncertainty, the best resource is one’s plan. A plan that identifies the tasks and responsibilities shows accountability and structure, uses resources and tools and is modified as needed.

Don’t Be Passive: Everything related to obtaining services and assistance needs to flavored with honey versus vinegar. But, if things are not working, questions are going unanswered, students are not learning, one needs to be their most influential advocate.

Today’s News – What’s the Decision: Hitting the pause button has been my rule of thumb during times of crisis, emotions, and life-changing events. The pause button allows me to seek out support, begin my questioning, and remain holistic in my view. Whether it was little Devlyn’s seizures, Thomas Jr.’s deciding to join the Corp as a grunt with a Bachelors Degree (i.e., no OCS) or releasing my 84-year-old dad from his suffering, life-changing events are never easy to manage. Understanding the rules, thinking ahead, and using one’s network of friends, family, and trusted advisers (not to forget faith) allows us to weather the storm. So whether we are still confronting the virus or working to bring our lives back to some sense of normalcy, let’s remember we have a league of supports ready to assist us on our journey!!

Don’t weather along!!