Mary Dell writes: Once our 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.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnQKxns6krA Continue reading
With two high school juniors, college admissions is a hot topic at both our houses. We all agree that it was much easier when we applied to school and wish it wasn’t so brutally competitive for our kids’ generation. To try to understand why things have changed so much, we did a little digging and here are the facts: Continue reading
Mary Dell writes: For our two families, Thanksgiving weekend offered a chance to Lisa and me to say helloandgoodbye to our older sons who swooped in for home cooked meals and nights out with friends before heading back to college. Though our youngest, both 11th graders, also resumed classes, they returned to a new phase in their lives, thanks to the College Board.
Like a Daytona 500 starter dropping the green flag, the College Board will soon mail PSAT scores to high schools, signalling the beginning of the race known as college application season.
The PSAT is big – 3.5 million kids big – and it is the one pre-college test that all juniors take with all of their classmates on a single day in October. It is a rite of passage going back to 1971 (hey, we took it too!) and, for generations of kids, the PSAT has started the ball rolling.
This next lap will feel very long for high school juniors…and their parents, too. While our kids compete for college acceptance, we act as pit crews, praying there will be no crashes. Lisa and I endured this with our older children and we can tell you that as they sit for SATs, SAT IIs, APs, ACTs (on top of the tests they take for their regular old school work) it is exhausting just to watch! No wonder “junior year” is a synonym for “stressed out.”
It is not only College Board’s calendar that forces our children to shift into a higher gear. Already, they have begun to leave behind a more innocent age on their own. I saw it clearly at my daughter’s recent soccer team dinner. At the end of the night, eight juniors read a poem, honoring the eight seniors. While each 11th grade girl entered the dining room as an underling, each departed as a senior member of the team.
Likewise, our daughter turned 17 in mid-November, cleared by NY State to drive wherever, whomever and whenever she wants. She celebrated her birthday with friends at a Chinese restaurant. We were not on the guest list, did not drive a single girl, just waited up to hear about it. This was a first for us.
By virtue of birth order, she is and will remain our baby. On the day she was born, when my husband brought our five-year old to see his sister in the hospital room, I was shocked at how changed my son looked to me. He seemed much older than just the day before, as he stood on tiptoes to kiss our new tiny child. Now it is time for me to see her in a different light, perhaps for the very first time.
It’s junior year and the College Board may hold the green flag, but if I look closely, I see that my child, our youngest, is already well down the track.
Is this how your child’s junior year felt to you? Let us hear from you at Grown and Flown!
So we didn’t have the depression or World War II, like our parents, and we missed huge swaths of the Vietnam War. Any credibility on how tough life was in the 1970s might be hard to come by. But just because we didn’t have it bad, doesn’t mean that we don’t think our kids have it better, much, much better. Here are some of the reasons we wish we could be our children:
We may have Facebook pages but our friends never seem to post embarrassing and deeply compromising photos of what they do when they are drunk. When we look on Facebook we see family photos, sunsets and graduations and find that we have little to ridicule our friends with the next morning. (At first we thought that maybe our friends don’t get tipsy often enough, but now we realize it is more likely that when they have been badly over served they can no longer operate or perhaps even remember that there is a camera on their cell phones.)
2. SAT tutoring
While it doesn’t look like fun, it sure beats going into the test cold and realizing that you do not even understand the first question. Continue reading