Hello again, friends. My super power seems to be to state what we (not all of us, but many of us) are thinking. [Time Out: I love that Tumblr has italics.] Anyway, there have been so many articles about the college application process. (I’m not including any that have come from my pen.) Yes, it’s a grueling experience. The gauntlet is no fun, the referendum on one’s young life is no fair, and by the way, nothing about it is fair.
In the final analysis, so much comes down to influence and money. The 1% throws its entitlements around — personal letters of reference that actually refer to a student’s character and personality don’t matter as much as generic letters by billionaire patrons, written by their executive assistants. Ridiculous. Offensive.
The truly impoverished also get a big leg up if they attend a high school that cares about its students enough to become proficient in the ways of financial aid applications. (And there are high schools with administrators who care.)
To everyone in the vast middle: I wish you all luck and say for now, you will be fine.
If parents start thinking about where their kids should attend college before those kids have reached 9th grade, they are doing a disservice to themselves, their children, and their children’s high school education.
If you wait until the much more proximate sophomore year in high school, you’ll allow your child to start to figure out who she or he really is, and what he or she wants to study and where he or she wants to live for those very formative undergraduate years. And it might not change the outcome if you let them achieve the grand age of 15 before the pressure mounts. (Believe me; I have 3 exhibits.)
The other overly-mined train of thought is the Return on Investment (ROI) school which states categorically that a four year college education is only worthy if it leads directly to a high-paying job. Ergo, study engineering, even if it doesn’t speak to you. And those pathetically retro Humanities programs? They’re just for wastrels who have no impetus to work.
Captain Obvious wants to tell you about learning to think, learning to become independent, and the blooming of what over time becomes one’s personal philosophies. This is what happens ideally during one’s university years. It doesn’t only happen in the classroom. We don’t learn as much from our successes as we do from our failures, and we have to allow our children to make some mistakes, even though it’s incredibly tough to watch them happen.
Finally, Captain Obvious has been silent on the subject of the family that needs to be constantly photographed and reported on in order to survive. To speak of the picture that was released last week is to indulge their vulgar aims.
It’s not easy, but I will try to control myself.