For all you type A parents who are involved in the college process, don't ever, under any circumstance visit the site "College Confidential." This is a warning. This site is worse than crack cocaine. It is addictive and insidious.
No! Stop. Do not leave my blog and head to "College Confidential!" It will make you nuts.
My friend in LA warned me against it earlier in the school year. Her daughter is a senior and she is right in the midst of admissions hell.
My 16-year-old has taken to playing Collegemania. He comes bouncing in every day with another college du jour.
What about Oberlin? All my friends love it. How about Haverford? Have you heard anything about Bowdoin or Middlebury or Colgate or Colby or Dennison or Connecticut College or Pitzer or Bucknell or Kenyon or Carlton or or or or or or or or or or or or or or or or or or or or or or....
I'm sure some of you went to these colleges, please feel free to let me know what you thought? I'll be sure to pass on the information to my son.
What made you happy during your college years? Did you love your school? I am at such a loss here because I went to UCLA--it's just what you did when you went to BHHS and you were not the Ivy League Type--most of us just went to a UC. A few of us went to the Claremont McKenna schools but mostly our choices were limited. I have a friend who went to Bowdoin and another who went to Vassar. A few from my class ended up at Harvard and Stanford and Brown. But they were the exception. We looked at them with awe and respect. They were leaving California.
The college counselors at Kyle's school ask each student to really think about what they want...a big school or a small liberal arts school. Do they want an urban environment or does that not matter? What do you want to study? Do you care about climate? Do you need to be near a big city? etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
Once you have given this careful consideration then they will help you make a list of at least a half a dozen colleges, probably more like a dozen schools that you should apply to. They look at your grades and test scores and give you choices--there will be Likely choices, Reach Schools and Safety Schools.
Then during Spring break you visit these schools. I have visited some schools with Kyle already. The process was stressful. It was worse than looking for a house to buy! Kyle imagined himself living there. I watched as he checked out the other kids, the dorm rooms, the libraries. Then I could almost hear him asking himself, "Would I like it here? Would I get claustrophobic? Will I fit in?" Kyle did this last summer.
After you have made your selections you have to write all the applications (there is a common application but it doesn't apply to all schools). I imagine this to be a painful process. You want to put your best foot forward. You have worked so hard for years to get here and now it comes down to a piece of paper and some numbers, such as 3.7 unweighted (AP and honors not included!) 4.3 weighted.
Am I good enough? Will they want me? Do I stand out? These questions must run through these kids minds.
In the end, they get into a college and hopefully they enjoy their experiences there. Hopefully they are engaged learners who find themselves thriving in a field that interests them.
Nothing like this happened to me. I took an internship at CBS my last semester of UCLA and got a job after graduation. That job lead to another and then another. I moved to NYC and hit the streets. Found a job at CNN Showbiz which lead to The Travel Channel to Nickelodeon to making a couple of films with Warner Brothers to having kids and writing this BLOG about what I am going to do once the kids leave home.
Somehow I don't think things will fall into place for me (when I am finally an empty nester) like they did when I was young. But I do know that "OUR" kids will find their place in the world whether they go to Stanford or City College or no College or a fun Trade School.
So, I will not go on College Confidential ever. Never ever again! (well maybe just one more time!)
Please let me know about your college experience. You can COMMENT on the site, or on facebook or just e-mail me. I will pass on your thoughts to the little prince!