Children Falling In Love With A Super Reach

<p>My oldest children happily got into their schools of choice. The third has fallen in love with a school that is a major reach and believes, based on her brothers' experiences, that she will get in. She can only hear of the one school, nothing else is close for her. Advice?</p>

<p>Hi Lisa,</p>

<p>I think I know how you feel . . .my son is in love with three super reaches at this point. Although I have managed to get him to consider one safety, it has only been within the last week that his college counselor convinced him he needs a couple of matches. The way she approached the topic with him was to tell him to do his best work on his apps to the super reaches, then to put them "to the side" sort of out of sight, out of mind, and then to focus as much hard work on the three other colleges he is considering. If he gets in to the top schools, then, this would be icing, not cake. I think he heard her. Hope so!</p>

<p>Similar situation with mine. What I suggested to him was that the focus of his work in September-December should be doing all that is necessary to have the widest range of choices in April. I think if the child thinks of the application process in parts, rather than the whole enchilada, it's less overwhelming.</p>

<p>I got some help from a scenario last spring where he applied for a competitive camp, but was waitlisted because the department head who was writing his recommendation went out of town for a week and missed the deadline. Important lessons were learned about dealing with adults and failing despite one's best efforts.</p>

<p>Lisa, is your second child (or first) egging her on? I don't know if that is the case in your family but a very good friend of my son, who is a great student but not Princeton caliber in terms of test scores and Math grades was egged on by her Princeton brother and made several mistakes in her college search process that she says she learned from..going to a great LAC now but still the initial disappointment was great. </p>

<p>So I'm just wondering.....</p>

<p>Other than that, I would advice you to have a candid talk with her and you seem on top of things already. Good luck! :)</p>

<p>No, actually her brother's have tried to help her see reality. They had much higher stats and have told her that those in their ivy classes did too. My oldest son had me take her by the hand and analyze acceptances at her school over the past years. Her stats are just a notch below what it seems to take. Yale is the dream school. Her stats will get her into very fine colleges without a doubt, but Yale is stretching it. She believes her ECs (theatre) will make all the difference, yet there are so many kids who have done extensive productions as evidenced by the huge number of posts to the musical theatre topics. I am just very frightened that she will be dealt a major blow.</p>

<p>Lisa, I used to interview for Yale and I wonder what her specific reasons are for seeing Yale as her dream school? That would help a lot in terms of what advice I might give....</p>


<p>Maybe she could read the threads on CC from last year regarding what some called the Yale Massacre. It's not just about stats or even ECs. It's just the sheer number of qualified applicants. As well, what is important is to identify alternatives which would be acceptable to her should she not get into Yale. None may quite match Yale in desirability (in her eyes), but she could certainly do well and be happy at a number of other colleges.</p>

<p>nedad, my daughter is a very good student (1460, 3.7 at tough school, leads in shows) who wants to take a shot at a career in theatre. That's why Yale seems to be the only place to her, a school with superb academics and top theatre. Any thoughts appreciated!</p>

<p>Whoops. my son took over my computer, last post is mine!</p>

<p>Lisa, can I assume you've already plowed through the Musical Theater and Theater/Drama Colleges threads under the heading "College Search and Selection?" If you haven't, I STRONGLY advise it. There are parents on this board who know EVERYTHING there is to know about theater programs in this country!</p>

<p>Marite wisely mentioned the Yale Massacre. Everyone needs a dose of reality, and here it is: there are, apparently, a gazillion kids out there with SATs at or near 1600 with to-die-for ECs on a state or national level. There are a valedictorians with 1600 SATs that are turned down. The chances of getting into Yale are extremely slim.</p>

<p>That said, she should still apply if she really wants to go, but she - like all other kids - needs to "fall in love" with other places as well.</p>

<p>Is she applying this year, early? Or is she younger? I would strongly recommend visiting and meeting professors in her area of interest, for a start. At least then when she writes her essays or is interviewed, she'll have some inside knowledge. I really can't emphasize this enough. I interviewed way too many kids who knew nothing about Yale other than that they "loved" it - but based on what?</p>

<p>Anyway, that's a start. Ask more specific questions and I will try to anwer (I'm not always online, but I'll get to it....)</p>

<p>EDIT - OOPS - just saw that you DID say you saw the theater posts - so my question remains: WHY is she in love with Yale?</p>

<p>Following the stories of Thedad's and Soozievt's kids last year on CC really opened my eyes as to just how dicey it is to pin one's hopes on Yale. Both of those kids were amazing, from what I picked up from reading their posts, which went into a lot of detail about their kids' accomplishments. Both were ultimately denied admittance and are now very happy at other terrific schools. And then there were also Lizshup's posts about how much it stung to be rejected by Yale and at least one other top school (I think it was Yale) after being led to believe her son was exactly what they would be looking for (stellar student, singer, etc.).</p>

<p>Best advice seems to be to give it your best shot, but don't pin all your hopes on one school, no matter how good of a "fit" it seems. And good luck!</p>

<p>Lisa, I'm afraid I have to echo nedad's question here, "why is she in love with Yale?" If she's truly interested in a career in theatre, Yale isn't often a student's first choice. There is not an undergrad theatre program, as such, there. What Yale is known for is their grad program. The undergrad program is a theatre studies major with very few performance classes. If she's researched this aspect and this is what she wants, that's certainly fine but it is definitely not the traditional course for those who want to perform, as a career.</p>

<p>My kid is applying to yale, and only reason he is going because of theater as he love to perform. His other interest is politics and otherwise he will be applying the other univerity in Boston. Anyway kids fall in love and then if the chips do not fall right, they move on. There is no gurantee, but do not take the kids dream away. Just tell them that be realistic and after April go where their heart fells right provided they have looked all the angles and their top few choices have given you a break by admitting the kid.</p>

My daughter was part of the Yale massacre from the year before (HS class of '03). The massacre is a perennial event. I agree with nedad, perhaps getting her to articulate the reasons for her interest in Yale will help her to see that other schools have similar, and perhaps even better aspects for her. What other schools has she visited? Aren't there other schools that are much better situated for a career in theater? NYU comes to mind, but there must be many others. Visiting other campuses, wherever they are, may help her overcome the familiarity (and comfort) she seems to have with Yale.</p>

<p>Well, she's 17 and being pragmatic and rational doesn't seem to be a part of that age. I think Chinaman sounds like he faces the same thing. A kid who doesn't want to put all the eggs into the performing basket, and has done well in academics, is easily drawn to Yale. Reading the musical theatre posts showed me that my daughter is much more on the fence than most of he applicants there. Being a struggling actress does not appeal to her. She wants an MBA backup! But kids still dream. While she knows her stats are low for Yale she still believes magic happens. And I love that about her! Only this time I'm afraid of what a shattered dream will do.</p>


<p>I have a friend whose daughter graduated from Chicago about a year ago. She did English, but she also did a lot of theater as well. He reports that she was very happy there. There are in fact, lots of colleges where students can perform in student-run performances.</p>

<p>Chicago has a thriving theatre scene, with lots of professional and semi-professional opportunities. There are dozens of little storefront theatre groups that feed off the colleges in the city. She should definitely look around at the opportunities offered by Northwestern, for example.</p>

<p>"A kid who doesn't want to put all the eggs into the performing basket, and has done well in academics, is easily drawn to"...lots of schools in addition to Yale. Why Yale, for your daughter? There are plenty of great schools where one could get B.A. in economics, minor (or DM) in theater, and go on to a great MBA program.</p>

<p>Lisa, kids we know who were in love with Yale also loved the following (all for different reasons but there were common elements):
U. Chicago
Wash U.

<p>None are rah rah football type schools, all have a high number of serious intellectual kids with lots of diversity in terms of arts, volunteer opportunities, intramural sports, eminent faculty, terrific admissions rates to professional schools, and none are rural. If it were my kid I'd add places like Skidmore and Sarah Lawrence to round out the performing arts piece (and address the stats issue...) I have sons, but I'd have encouraged a daughter who loved Yale to spend an overnight at Wellesley-- I know girls who loved Yale, ended up at Wellesley, and love it there.</p>

<p>I know you don't approve of my child-rearing /college philosophy from your previous response to my post about loving the child in front of you... but this is a clear example of what I was advising. Your child loves Yale? great-- apply, and here's 60 bucks because Mom and Dad believe in you and we want you to go for it. You want urban schools with good arts opportunities? Here's a list to go explore now that Yale is out of the way. Not sure if you want to perform or get an MBA? Let's visit a bunch of places where you can do both. </p>

<p>You don't need to be the one to tell her she can't get into Yale, since on or about April 1 she'll either prove you wrong or you'll be right. Your job is to quietly open the door to some realistic options that look or feel gothic/urban/artsy/intellectual/ or whatever else it is about Yale that she loves. Focus on the positive, but don't send the message, even subtley, that she's the runt of the litter who'll end up at community college since her grades aren't high enough for Yale. She's digging in to prove a point.... but come May 1, she'll appreciate some supportive parenting re: other options. It is tough having Uber-siblings, as many in CC can attest.</p>

<p>Somehow I have the feeling that we will be reading about Lisa's daughter's acceptance to Yale come April. Just a hunch. And certainly her son Brady will be getting accepted into Exeter or Thatcher any day now. I think it is important that we all keep a perspective on what posters say here on CC --- the "true story" is sometimes hidden from view. Just remember the names Mom101, Fresca and AnnieIvy as you read what is posted here. We've been duped before. Just my two cents.</p>