College Application-Speak 101

It’s that special season again – the leaves are falling, the pumpkins are popping up on front steps, and the parental nagging gets kicked up a notch, especially if you are sharing your home, DNA, last name, and/or credit cards with a high school senior. Is your student embarking on the whole college application thing? If so, as a parent who was where you are now just one year ago, please accept my sincerest condolences. (Not there quite yet or already been-there-done-that? Thank your lucky stars, and keep reading for the chuckle.)

To help get you started, allow me to share with you my own handy dandy glossary of college-speak phrases so that you, too, can talk the talk at the next school open house/neighborhood cocktail party/college night info session. What Webster did for English, Yarnell does for College:

Said to parents by high school college counselor:“College admissions is a process.”
Translation: Yeah, right, and so is root canal and labor, and those are shorter and more fun. Alternate meaning: Stock up on the Xanax.

Said to Parent A by Parent B:“There are lots of wonderful choices.”
Translation: “…for your dolt, maybe, but if my brilliant Natasha doesn’t end up at an Ivy, our lives are over…”

Said to Parent B by Parent A:“Somehow, they all end up where they're meant to be…”
Translation: “ long as my outstanding Oswald is scooped up Early Decision by Ultra-Elite U.”

Recommended Homework Drill: Practice saying three times per hour to self: "This too shall pass." (Translation: A year from now, you'll look back on the application "process" with a tinge of nostalgia as you calculate just what that new bumper sticker is costing you.)

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