As a former admissions officer for two "elite" schools -- one Ivy and one West Coast Ivy-equivalent -- I am in a unique position to offer some insights for parents that may be of help in raising healthful teens. Exasperated as much by the reaction to a couple of recent teen suicides as I am to the acts themselves, I offer my views here not because I'm an expert in suicide-prevention: I'm not. I offer this post because we're all looking for some way to help our community's kids. My Facebook feed upsets me when people surmise that these suicides happened because of mental illness, or tiger parents, or school stress, or, or, or ... because we just. don't. know. I don't think any family from the last suicide cluster came forward with a definitive reason, and I doubt anyone did now. We don't know what drove these kids to take their lives -- but we do know what's hurting our kids now. In fact, this local teen, Martha Cabot, sums it up pretty well: "Parents, calm down."The rest of the post is a little snippy at times, but I believe every word this woman wrote.
I want to tell every parent reading this post that you need to assume, right now, that your child is not getting into Harvard no matter what he or she does. (And no, he's not getting into Stanford either, or Yale, or Dartmouth, or MIT. Probably not UC Berkeley either. No, I'm not kidding.) Your kid isn't getting into the college you think he is.
What? So-and-so's child is at Princeton right now? and got what on his SATs? and did those activities? Hmmm. Interesting. Sure, you can prove me wrong with some examples. And I can prove myself right with a hundred more. Stanford's rate of admission was below 5% last year. Do the math.
In the spirit of "I want to do something," I offer below some Q & A that I hope y'all read and take to heart....
Monday, November 09, 2015
Harvard, Stanford, et. al.
I tell this to people all the time. It's not something people want to hear: