Senior Year in high school is supposed to be a time of excitement with the promise of things to come but somehow it has become a time of great stress. Students are faced with a mound of applications and due dates. Decisions have to be made about whether to opt for a gap year or even to go to college at all. For the students in the arts there is the addition of auditions and portfolios and interviews and trying to decipher which schools require what. Students are confused, parents nag about essays and personal statements, and what should be a joyous journey becomes agony.

There is help available but often in the quest of getting into the “best” school instead of finding the “right” school parents don’t know where to look until it’s too late. There are two organizations that are helpful to know about. The National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) sponsors a series of Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs beginning this week. The other is the IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association) where you can find helpful information and a list of independent unbiased and knowledgeable consultants to advise you.

The path to college is a process just as education is a process. The arts are definitely a process, and as I often tell students, you need to learn to love the process because that’s where you find the art.