As our nation celebrates its independence with parades, cookouts, and fireworks, many rising high school seniors are thinking about admission to college. It is one of the last remaining rites of passage in our society, a time of transition when becoming more independent is one of the inherent goals.
Applying to college is an opportunity for young people to embrace growing responsibility for their own lives and futures. And, while independence is a noble and necessary pursuit, part of this experience is also acknowledging the importance of interdependence.
This is not to be confused with the overly protective, codependent behavior of so-called helicopter or snowplow parents, and the disgraceful misconduct evidenced in the Varsity Blues admission scandal.
These are extreme cases, and a hyper-focus on these examples clouds the important role that adults play in the college search and application experience. It can be a chance to discuss ethical decision making and to teach young people to rely on and care for, others.