College admissions and recruitment

College recruitment and admission

Chandler Unified School District, Director of Counseling and Social Services, Brenda Vargas, speaks with ASU Director of first Year Recruitment and Admissions and Dr. Aaron Krasnow, ASU Associate Vice President of Health and Counseling about what you should know about college admissions and recruitment.

 

 

The conversation

Brenda Vargas:

Welcome parents and community to another session of CUSD Cares podcast. This is Brenda Vargas and thank you for joining us today as we have some very special guests with us from ASU, Arizona State University joining us. I have Mr. Brad Baertsch who's the Director of First Year Recruitment and Admissions. Welcome Brad.

Brad Baertsch:

Thank you for having me.

Brenda Vargas:

And I also have with us Dr. Aaron Krasnow, Associate Vice President of Health and Counseling.

Dr. Krasnow:

Thanks. Good to be here Brenda.

Brenda Vargas:

Glad you guys can join us today. For those of you parents that have been listening, you know that we have a series with ASU just to educate our parents on all the important topics in which our sister university right here locally can help guide us through this process as our students look at the different choices and what ASU has to offer. The much anticipated topic of recruitment is our topic of discussion today, so we are really eager to find out more information. We know that this is just maybe nuggets for our parents and they will of course I'm sure come for a visit. I'm sure they've been perusing online, all the different website information. So we'll start and please chime in at any point in time, either one of you, but I imagine Brad, you might be taking this on, these questions a little bit more, since you deal with this day in and day out with recruitment, it can be an overwhelming task. I'm sure you've heard.

Brad Baertsch:

I've heard about that a little bit, right? Stress, anxiety, making a list, your first big decision as a 17 or 18 year old.

Brenda Vargas:

Yeah. And for a lot of parents, especially if it's their first child going to college, it can seem more monumental and it might've been some time since they have had to make this decision, if they did have the opportunity to go to college, and how that looks so different now.

Brad Baertsch:

Yes, it's insane! I always like to start the conversation with this just being an individualized process. I think a lot of people, students and parents and family members turn it into a competition and it's really about the student finding the best place for them. It's not about the name of the school, it's about the experience that they're going to have there. And I'm the firm believer no matter what decision you make and if you take advantage of the resources available to you at that institution, you'll have a phenomenal body of work that you get to talk about when you graduate. And so that's where I always ground this as if you can make it that type of decision, it won't be stressful and anxiety inducing. I think sometimes us in the media starts to build that up and we talk about the 10 institutions in the U.S. that only really educate a small sliver of population and that there's well over 4,000 colleges and universities out there that all do their own thing really well.

Brenda Vargas:

And we know that ASU does quite a bit really well. So there are a lot of opportunities and choices for our students and our families as they look at who am I, where do I want to be in these next four years or what is it that I want to study and is ASU the right fit for me?

Brad Baertsch:

Right. And I think it's going and investigating it on your own. And doing these college visits, we have a few programs in the fall and it's phenomenal to see the volume of visitors that come across the country to the university. So sometimes we forget about this place in our backyard and it's that place that we know, but we have people from across the world coming to go to school here, but everyone's making their decision for themselves, whether it's going to journalism school, whether they're looking for specific involvement or club, it's again, back to this individualized process. And I think my biggest tip is being able to compile a list of what's important to you and what you want to get out of your college experience. And being able to edit what's important. Because working in the Admissions Office, we send out the most fantastic emails, we show you the most beautiful pictures of campus through a wide angle lens. It's going and experiencing it firsthand and what's right for one student may not be right for another. And I think that's the other important thing to recognize there. And I always come back to this when we're making lists and ranking, sometimes we talk about a backup school and fail to realize that our backup school might be another person's dream school to go to. And the way that we talk about institutions and why people are going there could actually really cause someone to go off course. And so respecting that conversation of I have great options and I think within your school and district, your students have access to so many colleges and universities coming to recruit and admit them. It's kind of almost an honor that you get to take advantage of that. So lots of options.

Brenda Vargas:

I'm glad you mentioned the options piece because as you begin to dig a little bit deeper as parents and students look at all the choices that you have available, sometimes those options change, right? That list changes and some make it to the top versus they might've been somewhere in the middle. One thing that I want to go back to that you mentioned, you said that the challenge of ASU being our backyard university and Oh yeah, I know what that's all about because maybe I've gone to ASU Gammage or I've been on campus for an event completely, maybe not related, maybe a community event. What do you think parents and students miss the mark or dismiss about ASU? Because do we really know ASU?

Brad Baertsch:

This is the best thing? So, I have real life experience in this. So, I went to a high school that will remain nameless in the Valley right next to the Tempe campus. And I had asked how many of you all have visited campus? No one in the audience had done an official visit to campus and I said, you are not even visiting. So you have all these assumptions about the university and you need to go and view it through the admissions lens to understand how you're going to be a part of that student body. Because if you're hearing what your best friend said, that's a great third party validation but you've not done the official things and you maybe would go visit five other schools but you didn't visit ASU in your backyard. And I even throw in the University of Arizona as well or NAU, taking advantage of these resources that are here and making that visit and really comparing and contrasting the type of experience that you're going to have there. But yeah, visiting is important even though it's in your backyard. Seeing what it's like to be a student there is very, very different.

Brenda Vargas:

Well, we all have different experiences that we bring to the table in our lens. But thank you for mentioning third party validation. As we know that weighs heavily on our youth that are making these decisions. And sometimes that's the only opinion that matters for some of our teenagers that are looking to make this decision to go to college. So thank you for mentioning that. So I know you trust your friends and our students have a good network of people as well. As parents, we have a network of other parents that are going through the same process ourselves. But we have to really look at our own students.

Brad Baertsch:

I'm going to add in there, there's just so much information that's out there and there's groups, like Facebook groups that you can talk about what's going on in this university experience. But I think the important thing, and I look to Dr. Krasnow from other conversations that we have is getting connected to the best resources on campus. And I forgot what you'd mentioned, email the right title or something like that to find out how to best fit in at that university for your individual self.

Dr.Krasnow:

Yes and universities are structured in ways that are not always obvious about how to engage with whoever might have the right answer. And so we recognize that as members of the university. So we try and give a few people a few titles that are just obvious to everybody. So every university has something called a Dean of Students and Dean means important and students means student. And so with that title, you just know that's an important person who has to deal with students, their portfolio, what they manage on a daily basis, kind of immaterial across universities from a student or a parent point of view, you just know that that's a person in charge. Other titles like mine, Associate Vice President of whatever, maybe you can figure it out because I'm lucky enough in that it has Health and Counseling in it. And so then people do find their way to me when they have questions about health or counseling, but not everything is that easy to organize, and so we take responsibility for that and say we have a Director of Freshman Experiences like first year student experiences. So that's almost like, Oh, I'm going to be a first year experience. Maybe this guy Brad, I'll do that. And so whether he's exactly in charge of that or not, those things are on purpose. So it gives an outward face. One thing I want to add, as you're talking about how to get information and who to trust, there's some evidence that's emerged about young people's sources of information that I think is really critical and really is relevant to supporting a young adult, but in particular about college selection; young people will trust their family members, their parents the most, but turn to them the least for advice. They'll turn to their friends the most for advice, but when you ask them to rate their friend's credibility, they'll rate them the least credible. And then in the middle are experts, like people like us, in which young people will recognize that they have some expertise. They're not the most credible, like my parents, but they're also not the least credible, like my friends. And so there's this twist on the experience of being a young person. It actually holds true for adults as well. But it's particularly acute with young people in which they're turning to people the most for the people that they themselves know, know the least. So for parents, you play this incredible role in which they are less likely to engage with you with the conversations, but when they do engage with the conversations, they give those conversations an Incredible amount of weight. And so we should capitalize on that as parents and as experts, we should recognize our place in that, not put ourselves above parental credibility but also recognize we have something to offer, to Brad's point, that a friend probably doesn't know, even if they are a student there.

Brenda Vargas:

I think you've probably made every parent's day today and they're sitting back with a big smile thinking, huh, okay. So they are really listening.

Dr. Krasnow:

Well they judge you as credible anyway. And I hope, I said whether they're listening or internalizing it. That's pretty family specific, but I hope that's the case. But there are these moments in which you can capitalize on it for sure.

Brad Baertsch:

I also think on the parents' side, when I'm talking to parents, I realize that this stress and anxiety that we talk about in the college search is also that I'm working with a parent in two of their most valuable commodities, their child and their money. And when you combine the two of those together, we do think differently because we want the best for everyone. I also have this financial investment in there, and so it's okay to have, I don't want to say irrational conversation, but it happens.

Dr. Krasnow:

Totally. If you ask people the most important things in their lives, they wouldn't name those two things. And then the nexus of that, what feels like the most consequential choice, where both of them are at the greatest risk. I mean, it's sort of weird if someone's not freaked out, right? And so in our world, when I have a parent who's very laissez Faire about this, or children who are very kind of chill about it, it's less common and it's more remarkable. It doesn't mean that they're not, it doesn't mean that they couldn't be that okay with it or that relaxed, but it's so unusual because of the normalcy associated with those two things that Brad said. It is somebody's financial investment; investment of time as well and then their child, the only thing that can't happen is something bad happening to my child and I am now going to be farther away from them than I would have otherwise been, whether that's down the street or whether that's halfway or all the way across the world.

Brenda Vargas:

I think that fear of that possible recipe for disaster. As you look at those two most important pieces that are at the top of any parents list. We'll just jump right into the financial piece. Most of us don't like talking about money, which I think is a reason why we need to bring this up today. I know you and I in prepping for this conversation, you had such good insight about what that conversation should be. What are the things that it should entail? I'm just gonna let you take over. Brad.

Brad Baertsch:

I think that's the really big challenge here is that we see all these schools, we get the mail, like I can only imagine the volume of mail that your students may get, recruiting them to a variety of different colleges and universities and it's you can do this, you can do that, It's all of this possibility. And then you see these sticker price type of thing, like you're shopping for a car. And I think making a smart financial fit decision in the college search is really, really important. And especially starting that conversation early on so you don't go through a process for a year and a half being courted by a school and then you have to break up because you can't afford to go to them really close to enrolling at school. And so I think having that tough conversation about what affordability means and yes, there's ways to afford schools through financial aid packages, but doing the research early makes that conversation so much easier because you're not setting up your child for false expectations. And we sit in a role in our office where we get to see parents and students that made really bad financial decisions because they were afraid of saying no, we can't afford to do this and I don't want to put the mark out there that college isn't affordable, college is really affordable. It's just building those lists correct from the get go and not getting down that road. And especially as we talk about maybe your students looking at going out of state for different institutions, there's a lot of limited aid there and the cost goes up exponentially. And it's scary when you see that financial aid package come and I don't know how many students will come to you and their biggest stress is finances. So I think having that conversation early, really sets the expectation for the rest of the search process and probably reduces the stress part of it.

Brenda Vargas:

Well, and we as parents sometimes have to be that reality check for our students, right?

Brad Baertsch:

It's the first time you're going to say no and really mean it.

Brenda Vargas:

and have to stick to it because of the limitations. And you mentioned something that I think a lot of students could probably relate to- the breakup, right? That let down of geez, this idea or this dream that I had in my head as to where I'd be in the following school year, and the fact that that is not going to be a reality. I think most youth are pretty resilient. But there are circumstances in which some students let down could be pretty hard.

Brad Baertsch:

I think it's using the resources available to you to make that decision. So, when I talk to a student and they say, I can't go because I can't afford it, well let me double check for you. I'm going to look and see. And if I see that you qualify for a tuition assistance program, I'm going to have a different conversation with you. But if I have a conversation with you and you really can't, I respect that and applaud you for making that decision from the get go. Because finding the best financial fit and academic fit I think makes for a much better college experience than when one of them is out of whack.

Brenda Vargas:

We know for our students in our local area, if ASU can't be their first pick the first year, we know that the community colleges offer other avenues so that they eventually can get there. So I don't want to discourage anyone from looking if this is really where they want to get to.

Dr. Krasnow:

The reality of the financial circumstances is, it's hyper individualized as Brad said, but there's no general communication across families of that level of individualization. So the story that's told is like sticker or sticker minus, right? So it's this much dollars plus maybe you got a scholarship, so it's this much minus this. But that actually is not how it works on an individual basis. In the same way that you can kind of generally understand what a car is going to cost and you can generally understand what the rebate is. But until you go in there and look at your credit and how good a negotiator you are and whether you're willing to walk out the door. Now you can't negotiate in the same ways with the universities. But all of it as Brad is saying is individualized strategy. How much aid are you going to get some, none, a lot. How many loans are you willing to do as a family, as an investment in your future? Most families will incur some, whether that's directly to the student or just an investment into their child. Even if the loan isn't a university type of loan, it might be the sense that they're making a different kind of investment in their own life in order to pay the tuition or, every single student has a different story in that regard and you can't market in that direction. You can't say, we don't know what it's gonna cost, so why don't you come talk to us? So what you do is you communicate out this is affordable and the way to make it affordable is consistent with your family. So come talk to us about that. And families have a hard time with that because it's so rough sometimes to begin those conversations with their child whom they may have never talked about finances before. Maybe they've been fortunate and it's never been an issue and they've been privileged enough to not have to do that. And now as you said the first time, or maybe their family or finances have always been a challenge and the student is quite clued into that. So those conversations sometimes for those families are actually a little easier because it's an extension of the larger conversation, which then for our financial aid folks, for the recruitment admissions folks, we match where the family's at. So if the family has no concept of financial aid, has never walked down these paths for whatever reason, then you can start at square one. Have you filled out the FAFSA, right, which now high schools are taking responsibility for, which is fantastic! That's a massive shift but it's always going to be the starting place which is like are you eligible? And then from there everything is built.

Brenda Vargas:

And it's a massive effort that even if we tell our students, even if you are not sure, still fill it out.

Brad Baertsch:

And caveat to all of this, the three public institutions in state here are phenomenal values and I want to make clear like I think we're talking about some of our out of state and private institutions here when we get into affordability, but as Arizona residents, NAU, ASU, U of A are extremely affordable and a great value. And so I just want to put that part there. And then the other part is navigating this sometimes gets really cloudy because there's so much individualized nature to it that within your high schools here you have so many resources in terms of colleges that visit, your college counseling and regular counseling teams that have done this year after year and can guide students and families. And guess what, things change every year. And these teams that work in the high schools are up to date on that information because they work with our college partners. They attend campus meetings, we give updates about student enrollment to your particular high school. So I would say it's kind of this taking a village approach to it all.

Brenda Vargas:

We could probably go on and on and talk about this topic for probably much longer than the time that we have. As parents are looking to make this really difficult decision for them that's their perspective, especially for their first one, possibly going to college and if they have more than one, they realize each child is an individual. Taking the time with the exploration piece. We talked briefly about this. I want to circle back around to this. I think as parents and students, we have this idea in our head we're going to go see a university that is one of the ones of our choice and it can be a very overwhelming experience. The actual day of the visit, I can even recall with my own daughter just the entire process of knowing where to park and where to go. That seems so simplistic, but you know, one little argument can just, the whole day goes downhill and I'll be very, I like to be real in our podcasts as far as what our experiences in dealing with, you know, our teens as we navigate the entire process.

Brad Baertsch:

And you're just a few minutes late to the visit, so you're parking in the wrong spot and it just snowballs from there.

Brenda Vargas:

And you're so embarrassing mom! .

Brad Baertsch:

Yeah. we had talked about waiting in our welcome center in the lobby and just seeing the interactions that happen between families and what happens on a Monday morning versus a Friday. It's a totally different type of experience there. And so I think the big premise for me is like going in open and not prodding for questions, in terms of asking your student in the moment, do you like this? Because it may take a while for it to click. And I do all these different programs on campus and you'll see some students walk in and you're like, they are not going to be happy here. You can just tell it. And then something clicks throughout the day and then they see how they can fit in. And you also see some students that move off and they're like, I was so excited to come here and I think I've realized this isn't the right place for me. And that's a really good thing. And I think parents understand that they may be so gung ho, maybe usually visiting their Alma Mater of like, my son's going to go to where I went to college and it's going to be the best experience. And the son goes there and he's like, this is so not for me. And as a parent, I can imagine you're crushed in that experience. But again, it's about unique individual circumstances and seeing yourself successful there.

Brenda Vargas:

And the one thing that I would just highlight one more time is allowing that time to digest. They're taking it all in. It's overwhelming for them as well as it is for you, but you can formulate maybe and articulate your questions, and not be rushed to have to know right away.

Brad Baertsch:

Thinking of the time of year and probably the most stressful question they get is where are you going to college and what are you majoring in? I'm forced to make a decision right now, yet I still have months to make that decision. And I get really angry at parents or family members. The worst is, as we travel and whatnot. Asking that question.

Brenda Vargas:

Well, and we have to all go back to that time. Did we really know what we wanted at that age? I'm pretty certain the vast majority of us were a little bit uncertain even if we had some guidance and direction as to it's going to be somewhere down this path. So we just have to recall what it's like for them and know that maybe it's a little tougher and it looks differently now in their world.

Dr. Krasnow:

One of the biggest challenges of parenting a young person is finding ways to be supportive without communicating to them overtly or covertly that you know how their life's supposed to turn out. But that's really hard because we have things we wish for them. We may know a lot more than them or not. We may be concerned about their wellbeing and we want them to be safe and everything else, but it sometimes comes across as I know how this is supposed to play out. And so in things like college choice, which are these launching pads for their life, colleges, absolutely one of, if not the most critical adult experiences that many of us are privileged enough to have the experience of. So a lot is riding on that moment. It can really press that button in parents, and I will help you know how to do this thing. It's got a protective and a loving component to it, but it's experienced by children as hyper controlling. It's like you're going to somehow communicate to me what a good life is. And people don't like that in general as humans. And I don't tell any parent listening to this podcast who parents adolescents, adolescents are particularly bothered by. And so it's this intersection of this fear and hope and love on the part of parents to say, I want this to play out a certain way. And children's particularly adolescent's, inborn innate desire to reject that kind of control and chart a different course. Even if ultimately they would agree on the general premise, which is, I hope you have a life that you love and that things work out. But that's not the conversation. It's like, you know, you need to get a job that pays well. And I just read in USA today that these are the top paying jobs. And so this school has those things and they have an 87% placement rate within three.... Like a child's gonna hear that and be like, can I see the bed? Right? And theirs are much more basic needs and they're much more social and they're much more like I have to live in this place and I have to make new friends and parents sometimes.... I don't know a parent who forgets that, they sometimes jump over that because they've already crossed those thresholds in their life. They're not 17 anymore.

Brenda Vargas:

Well and we want to protect them from all the mistakes that we made and possibly any that we can avoid.

Brad Baertsch:

Going back to this, it's like college experience now. So students now can order whatever they want when they want it delivered to them. We have to consider within our new residence halls, space to accommodate the number of packages that come. That's crazy to think that they can get a car to pick them up and drop them off wherever they want. So instantaneous communication as well. You can communicate globally where 10 years ago that wasn't necessarily a possibility and how we talk to students about what their college experience is and then we also have to educate parents in our visit programs. Your college experience is so different because of technology and what it shifted to students now and what they can do.

Brenda Vargas:

It's mind blowing sometimes.

Brad Baertsch:

Like having a car on campus has basically disappeared because of the shared economy because for $5 I can get around campus.

Dr. Krasnow:

Yeah, that was interesting, this is a great point Brett, because I've been at the university for 16 years and when I joined I couldn't get parking anywhere near my building and it was just sort of an accepted thing. I didn't even think anything of it- Oh, you want to be in that structure? Well you're going to have to be in this one. And there was a wait list. So for those who have been to university, that thing is basically gone; faculty and staff still have cars. Most of us. We have students who don't know how to drive. So not only do they not have cars, there's this delay -right now I could just see thousands of parents in my mind nodding along with this because maybe they accept or maybe they're still struggling with it, but the idea that their 16 year old had no interest in getting a driver's license. So now we kind of organize a university around that reality. There's an acceleration of generational change in the last 10 years. What used to be 15 to 20 year generations are now closer to five years. And parents in the audience who have a child who's like 16 and a child who's 11 can see that. Whereas in my generation, Generation X we weren't that different from each other. Even across 10 years, we consume the same media. We had different interests. I listened to different music than someone 10 years older or 10 years younger, but we weren't radically different. It's the information age that has fundamentally changed the experience of the environment, so when a child is looking at a university, they're looking at it through that lens and the education of parents starts in these kinds of things early on in the experience so when they get to college they have the empathy for the student's experience so that they can say that my child is looking at this place as their world, what matters in their world, not what I will project onto it whether I went to college or not.

Brad Baertsch:

That's the part that I always come to with like parents and students is all these recruitment materials that you get from colleges and universities is like pages of everything you can and can and can and can't do and you're just like, okay, that's a lot. And for you to be able to make a good decision, you have to edit your list of what's important to you as a person down to five to eight things. Because if you're going to a university because they offer so much, you have to realize that you can't take advantage of everything that's offered there. It's this experience of going to a music festival where every band is on the poster, but you have to accept that you don't get to see every band and you got to dedicate your time wisely in that sense. And the students that can do that have really phenomenal experiences. I think the students that struggle to find what their passion is, it's really hard when you go to a place that offers literally everything.

Brenda Vargas:

Which we know ASU does.

Brad Baertsch:

And that's my biggest tip to surviving is filtering.

Brenda Vargas:

It's a long laundry list of menu options. Sometimes more options doesn't help the individual actually make the choice. Which is why we hope they reach out to someone, especially someone like you, Brad, to kind of narrow down what those choices are. And I want to go straight to our role as a parent. This is one that I think is evolving throughout the course of not just the selection process, but the first year. I think you mentioned Brad as we were waiting, in our area about students doing their own podcast. I forgot the topic regarding the breakup.

Brad Baertsch:

Oh yeah, we did. We have a student run podcast and we did one episode of breaking up with your parents, which was making the transition to college and what do you do when mom and dad aren't right around the corner from you and you have to make that phone call - I need help or I don't know what to do. Or I have new friends. I can only imagine your office during certain weeks of move in and right after or post fall break probably.

Brenda Vargas:

And Dr. Krasnow, I know you have a ton of videos and other resources. I've taken a look and have seen on the website under the counseling department for parents to kind of view, but what is their role now? Some of them are not thinking about that until it actually happens.

Dr. Krasnow:

A lot of parents, not everybody, but a lot of parents put a lot of effort into figuring out the developmental trajectory of birth to five years old. There's a lot of books written about it. There's a lot of effort put into that. Parents will consume that material and it's all new. If it's your first child, I mean, if it's like your fifth child, no, but if it's your first child, it's like, is this normal? Are they okay? Are they going to die? Are they going to be okay? They sleep too much or they poop too much. Like all of these things that they need to do. Can I say poop on the podcast?

Brenda Vargas:

You absolutely can. This is a real podcast. We talk about real things on here.

Dr. Krasnow:

So that's a part of the crucible of parenting. As you go through this process in which you don't know. There's a funny thing that happens though for most parents is that even amongst their first children, there's like a reduction in that kind of knowledge, desire or searching things like that where you go to sources that are trustworthy. It just filters off in adolescence. And what you start doing is the same thing that I was referencing earlier. You start relying on unreliable sources. So you start talking to your friends, you go to the internet and you hear all these horror stories. And so what I say to parents first and foremost, when they're wondering about this is like there's normal wide ranging, okay, developmental trajectories for adolescents. We know some things about emerging adulthood and when you steep yourself in that, people are trying to separate from an environment in which they felt more dependent and now they're trying to be more independent. Now that looks different across children because everybody has different personalities. But if you start to look at that, like this person might be testing boundaries or they might be afraid to test boundaries. It's the same thing. It's about separation and what's called individuation, but they're trying to navigate that as a young person. They're trying to find out who they are and the identity development. It's early. In that case, who am I in relation to others, what identities do I feel connected to these emerging feelings that I've never had before? How does that compare to somebody else? What's safe to say out loud? What's not safe to say out loud? Who can I say it to- all normal adolescent stuff. So if you just remind yourself like that's the context of adolescence. Then when you look at things like a massive transition to college, you're starting from a point that says, okay, given that this human in front of me, assuming that they're 16, 17, 18 years old or 19 if they're a traditional age college student, this human in front of me is now trying to figure out who they are in relation to me and who they are in relation to everybody else. Stuff starts to make a lot more sense. Your feelings start to make a lot more sense as a parent and their reactions start to make a lot more sense when they get excited about something. You can see it as, Oh, I wonder if that's because that will give them a little bit more distance from me and not see it as problematic or anything other than that. Or if they surprise you on a visit because there's all these clubs out on the mall table and they find themselves gravitating to a different club than you would have ever thought. It doesn't mean they're going to join the young whatever club. But it might mean that in that moment it caught that part of them that's trying to figure out their identity and now you're kind of joining them in their real experience that you're joining them in this moment of becoming; that's why that term emerging adulthood is the best term now instead of adolescence, I'm on the cusp of this, I'm becoming an adult. And that's what parents and children are reconciling in that college experience. So it's always the first advice, like what's developmentally typical. Second after that is to manage your own stuff. So you have to know your things. And most parents can actually figure that out pretty fast because it doesn't change that much and whatever bothered you when your child was three is probably still bothering you today. So if at three you were an overanxious parent like I am, then I know when my son is an 18 year old, I'm likely to still have that in me. Now how I let it manifest and how much it affects it, that's my work on myself.

Dr. Krasnow:

And so if I know those things about myself, this has always been the case about me, then I can recognize that under the positive stressor, but it's still a stressor associated with the transition, my vulnerabilities are going to show up. So first you have empathy and support for your child's developmental stage. Second, you recognize that your vulnerabilities, the things that are difficult for you, your triggers, your buttons, there's stuff that you're still working out with your self, your partner, your therapist, whoever. Those are more likely to emerge. That usually, if you do that work, that's most of it. Empathy for them, managing your stuff because the rest of it, you don't know how it's going to turn out. There's this giant world that they're entering into. There's all these experiences that Brad talked about available to them. They'll have highs and lows like we all will and ultimately empathy for their journey and management of our issues. Things will turn out okay.

Brenda Vargas:

Which takes so much self reflection! So difficult, so difficult.

Brad Baertsch:

I think going back to the college search part of this, it's so funny when we survey students why they ended up at their selection and you're expecting like this big manifesto of all the reasons why and they're like, Oh, it just felt right. And I can imagine as a parent you've invested all this time and energy. We visited all these colleges and the answer of, Oh, it just felt right. There's this kind of like let down moment, but you should also be so excited about it because you know, it just felt right and regardless of rankings, regardless of a selectivity and how much money you got for a scholarship, if it feels right, it's going to be the right place for you.

Brenda Vargas:

We're trying to search for a little bit more than that. Like give me some meat to that answer. Like there has to be more to it. No it just felt right.

Brad Baertsch:

And to that question like what are you going to do? I don't know. I'm just going to do it like it's okay. And I think also not prodding on that and just being like, great. It felt right.

Dr. Krasnow:

Most people who enjoy their work careers will give the same answer about how they ended up there. That is it's not a linear process even for people who built their own business and had a goal. Almost always it's nonlinear. It just found its way to this place. And we sometimes don't afford that of our children. We don't allow sort of this happenstance, there's this term in career theory called planned happenstance. This idea that you prepare yourself so that when things happen, you're ready. And if we could get our children into that mindset and if we can get ourselves into that mindset, it actually matches where most of us are in our lives, which is like for those of us who are happy, which is many people, and I wish more, we reflect and be like, well I'm not 100% sure how this turned out, but I was ready. You know, someone said, Hey, there's this new opportunity. The way you could be most helpful. And then you're ready to take them up on that moment. And then you succeed in that. And then more things come and you prepare. And maybe you realize, Oh, I have a gap in knowledge. I gotta prepare myself for these other things, because if this ever happens again, I want to be prepared. College, same thing. Using ASU as an example, everybody who is admitted to the university is academically prepared. There's not one person who's admitted who is academically ready to be there. We wouldn't admit them if they weren't academically ready. What they need to be is socially and emotionally and mindset ready and that's the differentiator in the outcome and so saying to people, you are academically ready now. Let's get you ready for all the things that will come with this because you've done all the prep academically. Your schools have been fantastic and preparing you in that regard. You have been fantastic yourself at working hard, making the grades, getting involved in the things, training up as a teenager. So you're ready. Now let's stay ready. Let's stay focused and be open.

Brenda Vargas:

And there's such a big piece of that social emotional piece and I know Dr. Krasnow, we are slated to talk about that at another time and we could go on and on, but I see we're running close to our time here today. I hope our parents have some huge takeaways. I know there's so much more we could continue to talk about. I just thank you both- Brad and Dr.Krasnow for being here and making some time for us to dig a little bit deeper as to that recruitment process. You know, what are some tough conversations that need to happen? Please reach out. I know there's a lot of available resources through ASU. Parents, thanks for joining us today and stay tuned as we'll have more to you from ASU in the future.

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