A Question to Parents from a Kid


<p>I am a high school student and I have a mom who is under the mentality that in order to have a "good life", one needs to go to Harvard, Stanford, etc. While I certainly want to go to a tier one college, and will be disappointed if I don't, I do disagree with some of her methods.
For example, she acts CONSTANTLY as if she would kill me or I should kill myself if I don't get a 2400 on the SAT: "If you actually miss this problem during the actual test, your life will be down the drain!!" (except this would be in Chinese) I think she means this sincerely. . .I do agree with her than getting a 2400 on the SAT is very important, but I feel that it won't ruin my life if I didn't achieve that score.
More importantly, she has this attitude only about standardized tests and school grades - I am one hundred percent positive that she can't get over her Asian make it or fail miserbly mind set. As a result, she has discounted some of the other things that I feel are important - such as fulfilling RESPONSIBILITY in a club as a board member.
Recently, we have not been not on talking terms because she has made me take a SAT MATH class because I missed one problem on last year's PSAT (luckily, I was a sophomore). While I did feel like a failure, I know that that mistake was because of human error - my mom apparantly thinks that going to a CLASS will correct human error. I disagree with her, but i may be COMPLETELY wrong.
So, I was wondering if any of the parents on this board can sincerely bring up his or her opinion - and if you are an Asian parent like my mom, justify your position. I would really appreciate any comments.</p>


<p>One problem may be that China has a 2000 year history of people getting civil service jobs (and hence moving from poverty to automatic success) by means of standardized examinations. So when they are transplanted to the US, some Chinese tend to view the SAT as the American version of The Test - the test that leads to success. </p>

<p>And there is no doubt that the SAT plays a big role in admissions to many colleges, but it is only one factor. And it is far too common to see Asian parents react with stunned disbelief when their kid with perfect SATs but no ECs to speak of and no community involvement gets rejected by HYPSM.</p>

<p>I think you are going to have gently and respectfully try to educate her about the complex process of US college admissions. Perhaps your GC or teachers can help with this. Or is there a friend she knows in the Chinese community who has already been through this process and perhaps learned some valuable lessons? Hearing their story might help open up your mother's thinking.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>


<p>I feel for you. First, my S apparently missed one question on the SAT M but still got an 800. As well, statistically, there is no real difference between 770 and 800, since, as the CB report, if a student were to take the same exam under similar conditions, s/he could be off by 40 points. Adcoms do know that, so getting 770 instead of 800 will not affect admission. If you got only one question wrong on the PSAT, that's very impressive!</p>

<p>Let your mom know that colleges seek to build a class of interesting people--people who have something to offer to the college community. Often, that takes the form of ECs which the student is passionate about. So it is important for you to cultivate whatever interests you outside school. It can be arts, science, community service, debate, writing, any number of things. When my S interviewed at Harvard and MIT, both interviewers brought up his interest in...the Rubik's Cube, which he had listed as a hobby on his resume. He is by no means at competition level, but it was something to talk about. </p>

<p>One thing you can do is to go to the Harvard or Princeton or Yale or MIT board on CC and look up the threads mentioning the stats of students who were accepted, deferred, rejected. Your mom will see that some people who were rejected had perfect SATs and some who got in did not. They did have something else that made them interesting to adcoms. </p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>fewfdsagdsag, (what's with that name?)
I cannot speak to the Asian cultural drive for SAT=800 except that it is definitely real. And if you drive for this, you will have 10%-20% of acceptance at HYPSM etc. So, sit your Mom down and 'splain the MATH. I know you missed one on the PSAT but I'm sure you can make her see that 10%-20% acceptance = 80%-90% REJECTION. So it is CRUCIAL that you find some schools you love to round out your list. PERIOD. Take a stand. It's your future and your mother will not kill herself.</p>

<p>What do you like to do? What are you great at? DO IT. You can do the test prep your Mom insists on but do not sacrifice your ECs to do it. I think your numbers will be good already so focus on what can help you stand out.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>My advice, based on my experience with first-generation Asian parents, is to fight fire with fire -- in other words, work within the culture. You need to get a teacher to talk to the parent, preferably an older and very experienced teacher. The point is to get them to absorb that the admissions system focuses much more on that club leadership than on the last 20 SAT points. Mom and Dad will never buy the kid's version of the story, but they may listen to a teacher, or even better a principal.</p>

<p>Over a year ago there was a wonderful thread on Asian parents.
Probably one of the funniest threads ever on CC. One kid got into Brown and Dartmouth I believe. The mother said "you bring shame to this family".
Only HYP would do!</p>

<p>few, take them to a roadshow when they come through your town . I went to one with Duke, Harvard, Penn and Georgetown and several folks who were just like your mom were there. The students would ask questions about retaking 2250 SAT's and the adcoms would just shudder and explain that the time would be much better spent on more meaningful tasks. This usually yielded the parent of the student excitedly asking question after rapid fire question, all basically saying-"You're crazy. Top SAT means top college. Right?" The adcoms answered every question with a clear "No." Maybe that will work for you. But somehow I doubt it. All you can do is try to stay sane . You'll be out of there soon enough.</p>

<p>I loved the Asian parent thread!! There just doesn't seem to have been much Asian angst last year. Maybe the message is getting out.</p>

<p>fewfd, </p>

<p>I agree with the advice above. </p>

<p>Let your mother know that there is not a magic numerical formula for HYPS admission and that many perfect scorers will NOT be admitted. </p>

<p>Thus fulfuilling your obligations IS more important than fetting an extra question right. In fact, if you'd spent <strong>every hour</strong> of the prep class instead doing some EC for which you have a passion, it would have been time better spent!!</p>

<p>I agree, print out and highlight some of the CC threads. Let her know you <em>share her dream</em> of attending the best possible school, but that you choose to cast a wider net-- because you have really educated yourself as to the realities of admission.</p>

<p>Also check out the Evil Robot thread about turning down Yale for a big scholarship at Vandy. She may not have considered the money angle that a match school can offer.</p>

<p>Also, print out some of the stats on Biz school, Law school & Med school admission rates from the colleges you are selecting as matches and safeties. Seeing that you have thought a step ahead re grad school and selected schools that will position you beautifully for the future will probably appeal to your mom.</p>

<p>I'm just a poor chinese man tryin to make it out here in east cleveland. I'm a college freshman now, but I was in high school once, and I've shared your feelings. Lemme tell you somethin, the reason you are having these feelings is that you're in high school. College apps comin up, SAT comin up, and your parents are asian so they are worrying a lot more than they're supposed to. They all on your back about **** that you don't think they should be all up on your back for you know what im sayin? Sophomore year to senior year was tough for me. I didn't really get along with my parents, and it was for a lot of the same **** and u're complainin about. But there were good moments during those years you know what i'm sayin? I mean I wasn't hating em 24/7. It was like 20/5. I broke doors, I kicked chairs, I cussed at em, and I swore to myself that I would never give a **** about em ever again after leaving for college. You must understand something my boy. Your parents care about you dawg. They want the best for you and for themselves. But problem is, you don't realize that until you get to college, and you don't seem em for 4 months at a time. Then it's like, they ain't all up in ya business no more, and they prolly be gettin some barbeque and gettin busy all day baby all day when you gone. So they u ain't got nothin to worry about bro. Then you bond and you realize that what you was whinin about in high school wasn't really worth all that whinin you know what i'm sayin? But, shizzle you ain't gonna understand until you graduate. So peep this, there be a lotta chinese kids out there feelin the same way you is, and when u think about that, it ain't a big deal. Suck it up, go to college, get laid (use your condom though), get drunk a few times (but don't kill yourself), graduate, get a job, give 10% to your parents, marry a beautiful, and have some chiense kids. And you defeinitely don' tneed your parents for that, cuz there ain't no way they gonna tell u how to raise your kids. So my advice to you is, chill the f*** out. Peace.</p>

<pre><code> P.S. good luck with college apps john. much love from your big bro out in cleveland.

<p>Chances of getting a 2400, regardless of how smart you are, are statistically next to nil. In addition to missing some questions due to simple human errors, there's subjectivity in the grading of the writing portion. More to the point, as other posters stated, a perfect score is no automatic key to the top schools.</p>

<p>Also, HYP aren't the only good schools out there. There are many excellent colleges with varying attributes that should be considered. Attending HYP/etc. is also not a guarantee of financial success and a 'good life' and many other colleges are able to afford the educational backround for one to be able to achieve the 'good life'. There have been many threads on this so you might want to seek them out. They include stats of where CEOs of the top companies in this country attended college - the majority of whom attended other than HYP.</p>

<p>I don't know how to convince your parents of this other than trying to expose them to real information from knowledgable people. The suggestion of attending college info sessions and asking some of these questions is a good one. It might also be helpful for your family to visit a number of other colleges to realize that they do exist and can afford an excellent education.</p>

<p>Hmmm. If I wasn't looking for a thread to demonstrate exactly what we're talking about in the other (<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=247727%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=247727&lt;/a&gt;) thread.</p>

<p>The best response, though somewhat crudely put, has been from Art3st.
My advice to the OP. Ignore your mom. The things she says about NEEDING to go to HYPS or NEEDING a 2400 are the kind of well meaning nonsense that leads bosses to tell people that the meeting starts at 7:55 when it actually starts at 8 and just assuming that people will be late. She sets the standards as high as humanly possible so that you will do the best that you possibly can.
Sure this is dishonest, but that's the method that is taken. She so dearly wants the best for you that she will be a little dishonest. You know better though so ignore her and do what you know is the right way to get into college.</p>

<p>If you must go to SAT class, and you feel it is a waste of time, bring along something else to do, and tune out the teacher. If she yells at you yell back. Try threatening to purposely bomb a test and go to community college. Heck, I did that and it got them to back off at times. Heck, ACTUALLY bomb a test in school and show them that. I did that.
Chill the f**k out, and realize that teen angst is the WORST genre of writing ever.
Realize that your parents, if they are first gen immigrants, don't understand and did not go through a cycle of teenage rebellion as kids.</p>

<p>Just curious where is your father in all this? Is he as frustrated as you are?</p>

<p>The way to deal with it of course is to agree with her that you must try your best. Get her involved in your studying. Get her involved in your college choice, visits, and seek lots of advice from her. This would divert her energy on to something else than just anxiety. But don't take her advice to heart when you actually fill out the applications, unless of course you agree with her. You actually want to be yourself when you do your application. When you interact with her, you need to phrase your questions for her advice in a way that your ideas become hers ultimately, at least in her mind. All my suggestions may seem disingenuous, but it will improve your relationship with her. She loves you, but probably not the way that you wish her to express her love. It probably saves your father's sanity as well. At the end, if you do stumble, she will think she has too. Life will be good.</p>

<p>I must be the unluckiest chinese american on planet earth. My mother dumped me in various boarding schools since I was old enough not to wear diapers. I have fond memory of the one week that we actually went on a trip. I even got a bunch of photos to show for it. I looked totally happy in those photos, and my mother was gorgeous. When I applied for college in the States (all the way from Italy), I actually picked a school near a city that she sometimes resided. To my dismay, she did not visit during my entire 4 years in college. I regret it very much for never haven't asked her why before she got too sick for me to pop that question. And then she passed away. So that is the downside of having a non-traditional chinese mother. </p>

<p>In any case, good luck with your appl's. As Art3st said, you will feel differently soon. </p>

<p>Best of luck</p>

<p>i should write a book</p>

<p>One of my son's best friends is a Korean-American math genius. When he brought home a C in Art, his parents signed him up for all sorts of ec art classes! Nothing less than an A would do -- in anything! The math genius is a great kid (and he is now a good artist, too!)</p>


<p>All of us parents feel we must be the best parents possible for our children. Your parents would shame me because I think that includes teaching my kids to skip rocks and swing from tree branches. It may seem like your parents are doing this because they are worried about the family name and making themselves look good. More likely, they believe that it is the right thing for them to do...that they are being good parents by helping you get the best education money can buy. Try to remember how much they love you.</p>