Wednesday’s Parent: College Prep Peer Pressure


college prep peer pressureLast month, I was speaking with an interviewer about college prep peer pressure in the context of how it relates to the stress factor. Parents need to factor in peer pressure when they think about how your student will react to it, how it will affect his college choice, and how the stress surrounding it can affect his emotional health.

How do students react to peer pressure about college?

Students react to peer pressure in different ways. There is positive peer pressure—the kind that causes your student to excel to compete with other students. There is negative peer pressure—the kind that causes your student to make poor choices based on other people’s choices or example.

How does peer pressure affect your student’s college choice?

Peer pressure can have a strong effect on where your student wants to apply to college. It can make him feel like he needs to apply to an Ivy just because his fellow students are applying. It can cause him to want to apply to a college because a friend or boyfriend is applying. Peer pressure can have a profound effect on your student’s college choices if you don’t guide him to be self-serving and wise when making those choices. And not only are the students pressured by their peers, but parents feel pressure as well from other parents who brag about their students college choices. Additionally, parents often apply pressure toward a particular college during the selection process. This puts added stress on the student and can often cause the student to choose a college that he is not interested in just to please his parents.

How will the stress surrounding peer pressure affect your student’s emotional health?

Every parent knows the affect peer pressure can have on your student. Students feel less successful than others who are applying to prestigious colleges. Students can feel depressed about their own college choices when they stack them up against other students. The battle intensifies once college decisions begin rolling in and other students start talking about where they will be attending.

The bottom line: Beware of the college prep peer pressure and do your best to negate it. Encourage your student to be an individual and follow his own path.

Read Wendy’s post: Peer Pressure Sabotages College Prep


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Wendy 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!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Wendy and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. 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 parentscountdowntocollegecoach to and vice versa.

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