Once children become teenagers, there is one big question that looms large over their four years of high school – where will they gain college admission. Lisa and I both have 11th graders who are taking the SAT, visiting schools and, along with three million other kids, seeking the answer.
Practically from the delivery room, we begin to imagine our child’s future. As they grow up, kids take custody of their own hopes and dreams leaving parents to find a balance between being supportive and overbearing. Too many questions, dictates or unsolicited advice and we risk watching our kids flee, slamming the bedroom doors behind them.
Unfortunately, even the most well-meaning adults fail to appreciate how intrusive it can feel to be bombarded with questions about college admission. Even perfect strangers glibly offer unsolicited advice on college and career. Who can ever forget this scene from The Graduate:
So here is our advice to you should you encounter an 11th grader: offer your college opinions only if asked and avoid these ten toxic questions:
1. How was the SAT?
2. Are you taking any AP classes?
3. How’s your GPA?
4. What schools have you visited?
5. What colleges are you applying to?
6. What do you want to major in?
7. Are you going to the school where your sister goes?
8. When will you find out?
9. Are you in anywhere, yet?
10. Did you find an internship or summer job?
Alternatives? Fall back on sports, current events, movies/music/tv, the family dog – none of these should make your young friend excuse herself to avoid you and your curiosity – a much happier outcome for all.