Applying to College

I applied to colleges sight unseen. My guidance counselor, a really nice person, was one of the freshman football coaches. My high school had negligible experience with selective east coast colleges.

So, it is really weird to observe college admissions today. Two of my children are in high school and at schools that prescribe a great deal of homework and have high expectations about involvement in sports, theater, music, leadership and community service.

Honestly, I’m grateful that my children are getting a tremendous education and one much “better” than what I experienced. But, I’m not sure how I feel about young children staying up late fairly consistently. I’m not sure who will fare better: those who get into their first-choice colleges, or those who do not. The latter will face an early disappointment but end up enjoying their college experience nonetheless; so, they will learn grit and be more than OK in the end.

This is all a very foreign process to observe.

3 thoughts on “Applying to College

  1. Hey Jo – great post. This was one of the sub reasons we left the East Coast. The pressure is to much on the kids and for what…here in ND there is still high expectations but measured…if that makes sense. The joke here is the most college pressure kids here get is to go to NDSU or UND. Either way they will get a great affordable education. My time at George Washington was great but not worth the money. College is getting so out of control, both the craziness of getting in and then that trickles down to High School kids. Kids in our county in Maryland had loads of medical and psychological issues because of the pressure but on them and the pressure they put on themselves.

    1. Doug, thanks for the note. Hope all is well with you.

      Yes, it is a total “rat race.” I’m pretty conflicted. On the one hand, college changed my life. On the other hand, I think we at risk as a nation of raising children who feel compelled to be “on track,” and my fear is that they will become risk averse as they never want to be “off track,” which is the heart of entrepreneurship, and IMO, a key to a happy life. If we just live our lives seeking validation from others, then I fear we won’t take the risks we need to grow personally and to have more social impact.

      Best wishes for a great T-giving….

  2. Jo

    Equally as important as the kids/parents’ Rat Race and the stress is the cost. Upper middle class make too much to get much financial aid but not enough to save $250K+ per child. So we’re asking kids and parents to handle 5 and 6 figures of debt.

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