So, you’re ready to begin the college admissions process and you will be paying your campus a visit. Difficult decisions must be made and you need the right person with you to support you during the maze of paperwork and appointments. Who could be the perfect person to call? Your Nonnie or Pop-Pop. You heard me. Okay, maybe it’s your Mimi, Grampy, Nana, Granpy, or Granny but you catch the drift. Bring your grandma or your grandpa. It could be the best decision you make in the college entrance procedures according to Peter Jennings, the director of college counseling at the Concord Academy.
Jennings has counseled numerous students in his career at the New England College and he’s come to the conclusion that grandparents can play integral roles in academic activities. For example, you’ve decided to attend a small, liberal arts college and want to pursue a degree a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Who better to encourage you in your dream chasing then your grandparents? It’s true that grandparents are often only associated with helping out financially. However, what if their contributions are intrinsically more?
As opposed to your parents who might scoff at your desire to major in the arts and who believe you should be pre-med and heading to Yale, your grandma or grandpa who knows your strengths and weaknesses could offset the “helicopter” parent and reduce the “static” generated by your mom or dad. Jennings argues that grandparents have special abilities “to understand the complexity of growing pains while highlighting the special and unique aspects of their grandchildren.”
Of course, this is not true of all grandparents. But, grandparents, as a wealth of intuitive resources, shouldn’t be overlooked. Some of their insights can assist with making the most challenging choices easier. You’ve looked over the literature and are excited about your graphic arts coursework. Show grandma or grandpa. Maybe you even want to invite them to go with you to your school and help you navigate the admissions process.
There’s a good chance they will find your interest in graphic arts intriguing. Since they know you so well, they are already aware of your desire to use art in innovative and creative ways in order to communicate specific messages to your chosen audience. Their often patient ears don’t mind the plethora of questions asked regarding your subject area during the admissions session and tour.
The bottom line is: a grandparent can make the ideal “campus co-pilot” if you are willing to give him or her the chance. Next time you’re heading to school and need a wingman or wingwoman, give them a call. You might be pleasantly surprised at how proud they are of you and your abilities and how willing they are to accompany you on the beginning of your educational career.