Parents out there who have gone through the college admissions cycle more than once, how did you do it? And to define what I mean by admissions cycle, I mean, most of high school really. My daughter got through it, but it was so hard to watch her go through it. The endless studying, pressing in extra curriculars, night after night up until 2 AM or later finishing one of her many AP homework assignments. The endless pressure of getting that ACT/SAT polished, Subject Tests, PSAT, and AP tests. I swear she was studying or taking practice tests every weekend for 4 years.
She has stated multiple times that high school was miserable and she missed out on so much. She reached her goal, but now she's forever damaged by it and will probably spend a lot of her adult life trying to overcome that hurt.
Her brother is coming up right behind her and in many ways he's as talented as she and maybe even more so in some ways. Yet he's more gentle, kind and soft spoken. He's the kind of person who surprises you to find out he's top of the class. He's unassuming and laid back.
Yet he's watched all his sister's success and wants that too. He's lived in her shadow and yet she's also mentored him, tutors him at times, and is arguably his best friend.
He sees the financial limitations our family has and knows that ironically, the most affordable colleges are the most elite and therefore, to contribute to the family, he wants to follow in his sister's footsteps and get into one of those schools.
So here we are, at it again. He's doing, I don't know, 10-15 hours of interest-specific volunteering per week, plus a heavy class load. Like his sister he's doing very well in school. It's all lining up again.
Yet, I can't help but feel serious fear. I don't want him to curse this experience. I don't want him scarred up by this. He's just not like his sister. There's no golden choice for him. Really, he's not even chosen his path. Yet, he's jumped into the deep end and I'm dreading it.
What you can't fully illustrate in a college app is the countless hours of studying for standardized tests. My god, it must have been hundreds and hundreds of hours. In all the essays, scholarship applications, common app, there wasn't one place to add that.
It's what she spent the most time on. It dragged her life down the furthest and yet it was the silent contributor.
He hasn't fully hit that yet. We at least learned to stick to the ACT. She studied for both before we figured out that our school system prepared them better for ACT. However, it's not just about studying to take these exams, but it's about over and over again until it's perfected to the student's satisfaction. At least that's how she handled it. We'll have to wait for him to decide what's his goal.
I can say that I'm not putting pressure on him. I actually have tried multiple times to have him pull back a bit. He's enjoying it so far, but he's only a sophomore. He has no idea what's to come. It's different when it's you doing all the silent studying.
Maybe this was a rant. Maybe I just needed to say this because I'm so upset inside how all this unfolded for my daughter. Don't get me wrong, she's loving college. She's ok and will flourish from the opportunities, I just don't ever want to see that again.
Can you guys relate?