Applying to College: A Parent's Perspective

July 24, 2018


High school seniors experience plenty of stress when they’re applying to college—wondering about what comes next and how they’ll stack up against other students is a recipe for angst. But what about parents? The college admission process isn’t always an easy one for moms and dads either, with clashes with their kids over college lists and deadlines common. As mom Kari Williamson put it, “I was tired of fighting with him!”


The Write Direction worked with Kari’s son Trevor last year as he applied to a number of public and private colleges. Trevor is Kari’s youngest child and she was adamant about the

importance of him taking responsibility for the process. “These kids need to do this on their own and they need to really want to make it happen.” She also didn’t want to spend a mini-fortune on a private college consultant, but she did think someone should give Trevor feedback on his essays.


“I have kind of a Type A controlling personality so for me to edit his paper, it would be too hard for me to not rewrite,” Kari said. “Your suggestions just helped him to think deeper and to make changes but you kept his concept and his paper the same. I think I would have changed it way too much and it wouldn’t have been his anymore. I don’t know how you did it but it was still his paper with your help.”


Trevor was a good student and an accomplished pole vaulter, but he chose to showcase a different aspect of himself for his Common App essay. He wrote about being “Unc”—short for uncle—to his young niece, Everly, who lives with his family. His essay was heartfelt and showed he was a caring young man, but it needed something extra to demonstrate why he was an attractive candidate to colleges.


After receiving feedback on his first draft, Trevor revised his essay to better position himself as a strong applicant, showing how being a responsible role model—patient, kind, and dependable—will serve him well in college and in his eventual career in business. He wound up having a number of choices for college, but eventually decided to enroll at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (where, ironically, essays aren’t required or used as an admission factor.) Now he’s getting ready for his move to SLO, far enough away to have a good college experience but close enough that he’ll still be able to come home at times and be “Unc” to Everly.


Kari is pleased at how it’s all worked out. And she’s happy that The Write Direction is a nonprofit organization that works with students from all different backgrounds in Orange County.


“Your price was right and I loved the fact that 100 percent of what I paid went back towards you being able to help people that didn’t have the opportunities we did,” Kari said.


Students can apply for scholarships for free assistance from The Write Direction or contact us about extremely affordable rates for editing.

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