Eric’s oldest child has been accepted to many awesome colleges. It’s a happy time for them.
Also, some of my children are in high school, and so, the reality of college admissions is increasingly getting closer. Those children are currently deciding what courses to take next year.
One has been asking me for advice and wonders how to balance personal interests vs. managing the optics for college admissions.
I think back on my own experience and realize how irrelevant it is. You see, I applied to colleges sight unseen and was pretty naive about it. Back then, there was no Common App., parents didn’t hire admissions consultants, and the admissions rate at Yale College was 18%. Now, Yale admits only 6%. It is crazy.
So, my advice has been this: take courses that will help you grow and better understand what you’re called to do in life. And, let the college admissions chips fall where they may. Don’t overload on AP courses and suffer sleep deprivation for years, unless you really like the subject matter.
Here’s why. If the odds of getting into a fancy school are so absurdly low, it means that legions of qualified applicants are being rejected. So, there’s likely more randomness in the process. Call it luck or standard error.
So, why manage optics if so much of the process is outside of one’s control? Instead, take courses for the old-fashioned reasons of finding your passion and what forces you to grow as a person.
Maybe that’s a naive view, but I’m new to this. I’d love to hear from other parents who have been through this process.
Should I push my children to take more advanced courses? That doesn’t feel right to me.