Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

February 2017

Nobles Parents' Newsletter February 2017

"Encourage, Support and Love" by Director of College Counseling Kate Ramsdell

I asked our Class I students, now hearty veterans of the college application process, if they would be willing to share advice with the parents and guardians of younger students. This is not a novel topic, but kids generally deliver advice with striking clarity and have the ability to make us, the adults in their lives, step back and reconsider our habits or inclinations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the seniors who responded were thoughtful, self-reflective and empathic. Here is what they shared:

Support during the process

“Ask questions.”

“Listen to advice.”

“When kids are anxious, they might act disrespectfully towards their parents. There is no excuse for rudeness, but my parents definitely accommodated me and backed off from asking questions about the process when my anxiety showed. I appreciate them endlessly for that.”

“Promote the idea of unity among the class during the college process. Students should not have the idea that their classmates are trying to ‘take their spots.’”

“After taking care of a major deadline, a little celebration would be nice; it can be as small as a weekend afternoon off or even a quick ‘Congratulations!’ Encouragement really helps.”

“I was talking with a couple graduates and we pretty much agreed that parents should just trust the college counselors more, trust the college process, and trust that everything will work out.”

The College List

“Try not to focus on ‘the one’ when looking at schools…. The truth is that most kids would be happy at a handful of schools…. When you put all that pressure on “the one” and it happens to not work out, you haven't been able to fully develop those other schools you overlooked.”

“Don't pressure your child into thinking only one school is the best for them. With the great Nobles education we have gotten, we can be successful and happy in many places.”

“Keep an open mind about the colleges that might be a good fit.”

“Most important - smile and keep an open mind!”

The Plan

“Encourage your child to develop a game plan.”

“Start a nice, relaxed conversation and have the kid lead the conversation; if he/she is not saying much, ask gentle questions about their thoughts on the process.”

“I had friends who were struggling to get their early applications finished by November 1, and then didn't touch their regular decision supplements until they heard back from schools in the middle of December. Tell your child: Don't put off the writing, get it out of the way early.”

“Visit potential colleges early so you are not cramming in visits in the end.”

Responding to news

“…you can do EVERYTHING you possibly can and it could still not work out. But that doesn't mean it's not all worth doing…. Sometimes you can do nothing wrong and it just doesn't go your way. You just can't always blame yourself.”

“Do not talk about what other parents have told you about their kids!”

“We all know that some kids might have very strong hooks. If you don't have them, don't get angry or jealous, just focus on doing the best that you can do.”

“No one I’ve known at Nobles has regretted what they've done after Nobles, whether that’s going to a school and loving it, going to a school and then transferring to be happy, or taking a gap year. [Believe that] it will all work out.”

Parting advice (we couldn’t have said it better ourselves!)

“I think both parents and students learn and grow from this process. The Nobles College Counseling Office is here to help, and don't hesitate to reach out to them if you have any questions!”

“Encourage, support, and love.”

If you’re the parent or guardian of a Class II student looking for more advice, on February 4th, we’re hosting what we have long called our “College Counseling School,” where we invite three deans of admission to be guest faculty for a morning. This year we’ll welcome Lee Coffin from Dartmouth College, Christopher Gruber from Davidson College, and Joy St. John from Wellesley College. Lee, Chris and Joy brought decades of experience, an insider’s perspective and levity to the day last year. It’s always one of my favorite events, and I hope you’ll be able to join us. Please be sure to RSVP.

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If you have questions, comments or suggestions for this newsletter, email Kim Neal at