Wednesday’s Parent: Peer pressure sabotages college prep

Steamed about peer pressure. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Steamed about peer pressure. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

The golden rule may be all about putting others first but college prep offers the chance for the college-bound to be selfish. It’s a 180 degree reversal of the good citizen message parents emphasize but essential to combat the influence of peer pressure during the college prep process.

Peer pressure pitfalls include following a boyfriend’s choice of college over a better fit, joining a popular club with no personal interest, acting or failing to act to follow the crowd, and down-playing a skill or talent just to fit in. If you think your child is above this, think again. A teen’s self-esteem is more fragile than ice starting to freeze at the first frost. Sacrificing a personal want can seem superior when it gains the comfort of being accepted by a group. Unfortunately, college acceptance is based on a different set of rules.

Institutions of higher learning set minimum admission requirements for applicants to share but that doesn’t mean they want cookie cutter students. The onus is on students to showcase what they offer to the campus that is special and unique. Introspection and self-evaluation can go a long way to focus student emphasis on who they are now and what they want to achieve.

College prep includes beefing up strengths and fortifying weaknesses. It leads students beyond their own circle to explore new ideas and ways. If peer pressure is holding your student back, parents and students can work together as a team to do what is in the student’s best interest. Start with brainstorming college, lifestyle and career goals. Then form a plan to make it happen. And this kind of selfishness fits right in with college prep.

Read Suzanne’s post: College Prep Peer Pressure


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

This month Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT on Wednesday, January 21. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound. 

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from to and vice versa.

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