How Depressing Is This

<p>I met with my son's GC today. He's in 10th grade</p>

<p>1) 95 Average at very competitive school
2) 750 BIO SATII in 9th grade
3) 203 in practice PSAT (doesn't count until 11th grade)
4) Captain of wrestling team (usually, this position is reserved for seniors)
5) Winner of National Math Contest
6) Semi-finalist in another national architecture contest.
7) All Honors/AP Classes</p>

<p>She said he doesn't stand out. He looks like every other bright kid. That he needs to do something next year to make himself stand out from the pack.</p>

<p>He just wants to be a kid. And you know something, I just want him to be a kid, too. I think he's so special (of course, he's mine). Its hard for me to understand how colleges won't think he's special. </p>

<p>For me, it just underscores how insane this whole process is.</p>

<p>stand out for what? seriouslly, there are so many good schools that this find the cure for cancer mentallity has gotten out of hand</p>

<p>There are a few colleges that have such low acceptance rates, but we forget about the hundreds that would love your son.</p>

<p>Your GC is whacked. yep, i swore on CC</p>

<p>The GC are feeding the frenzy, instead, she should have discussed your son's interests, what he wants to do when he grows up, the kind of school he might be looking at, to keep up the excellent work, and that there are so many good schools, he just needs to be smart about his choices</p>

<p>And congrats on your son...</p>


<p>I have not read previous posts by you, so welcome!</p>

<p>Don't listen to your GC. Your son has excellent stats so far. He has some good ECs. What I would suggest he do is to keep on cultivating them: one sport, one academic EC (math) and one artistic (architecture).
It is far better to build on these--and I presume they are all things he is interested and invested in-- than doing "something next year to make himself stand out from the pack."
So he should just go on as he is doing--which is, very well.
As well, remember there are many many wonderful colleges where a student can get a great education, not just the top 5 or 10 or even 25.</p>

<p>I taught at a "selective" private school for 24 years, and worked closely with our College Counselor (that was his one job -- getting the students into colleges). A few observations:</p>

<li><p>Our Counselor REFUSED to talk to parents before Junior year. He told them that the students needed to focus on high school and being kids.</p></li>
<li><p>Lose the GC, keep the kid. He's doing fine. Encourage him to do well in what he enjoys. He will stand out by his willingness to develop interests, extend himself, and give those activities he does participate in his best. Many students with similar resumes wil be seen as "transcript fillers." I sense your son will be able to write a killer college essay about his experiences.</p></li>
<li><p>Before I raised my own children, I was a better expert on parenting. As my tenure as a parent increased, I realized I knew less and less, and stopped giving the parents of my students a large dose of child-rearing advice. However, in this case I must say that your instincts are perfect, and your son should be grateful to have a parent such as you.</p></li>
<li><p>Lose the GC. Did I already mention that? Many of them have no training/experience with college admissions and do more harm than good.</p></li>
<li><p>Start thinking about colleges next year. I suspect by just being himself, your son will have a very nice set of offers to choose from. You're both special!</p></li>

<p>I agree with #2 and #4 above. Your son looks great to me.</p>

<p>Doesn't stand out? Looks like every other bright kid? For what applicant pool? Ivy? Is that what we're talking about? Because if not, he certainly does stand out just about anywhere. Two of my kids got into great schools (Stanford, for example) with fewer accomplishments by 10th grade. But, yeah, if only Ivy will do, then start working on that cure for cancer. ;)</p>

he needs to do something next year to make himself stand out from the pack.


<p>Next year, 2007, is not an Olympic year, so that is going to be tough.</p>

<p>If your kd (and you) has a goal of attending HYP etcetera, maybe... but otherwise I am very confident he will find a college to attend.</p>

<p>Nothing precludes Ivy League, either. The only reason people are saying 'apart from Ivies...' is that it is so unpredictable.</p>

<p>I agree. BAD ADVICE. Sounds like a real solid kid with a lot going for him. Sure he may not make it into an Ivy or top 20 school. Living his life to try to improve the odds may make no difference in college acceptances.</p>

<p>Loosecannon, you should have told your son's counselor so st*u. He's doing fine. What part of the country are you from?</p>

<p>Ditto, ditto, ditto. If your s. plans only to apply to HYPSM, then have him perfect cold fusion by next fall. Otherwise, you and he are fine.. Sounds like perhaps your GC is trying to gently tell you to have a balance of reach schools, match schools and safeties. He/she's telling you that your s. willl need that Nobel prize to have some greater assurance of getting into the Ivys.</p>

<p>Hey, I think the student has a chance (and perhaps more than a chance) to get into the "Ivies." It's just that they are so unpredictable.</p>


<p>I would like to echo what Marite said and add a bit. Her advice is right on but let me be a bit more specific because her advice could be read as "within his school". I would expand his horizons around his passions by finding other things outside of his particular school.</p>

<p>This has the benefit of giving you much more than just one GC perspective. Additionally, once he is outside of the boundaries of one schools he will see other opportunities that are out there that he may not see if he is limited to his school.</p>

<p>With that said, make sure he also looks into schools broadly. Don't get caught up in the school X or bust mentality. He has plenty of time to explore so have fun with it.</p>

<p>Your kid sounds amazing. The only places he wouldn't stand out (because so many others will have similar outstanding qualifications) are HYPS. </p>

<p>My kids went to one of the top private schools (some say the best one) in my state. Kids at that school with qualifications like your sons were uncommon (perhaps 5 to 10 out of a class of 100) and they routinely got into the best colleges. So chill out, don't worry, enjoy your son!</p>

<p>I think counselors at very competitive schools have learned the hard way to manage expectations of the mostly very competitive parents they deal with. This is certainly the case at my school, where many parents, especially foreigners, believe a kid with a high GPA and SATs will get into a top school no problem. I don't think we're talking just HYPS anymore, even the Duke, Dartmouth level schools have become brutal to gain acceptance at. It's harder for high scorers, for athletes and for legacies too. The only real hook now seems to be development. Counselors at my school, seasoned professionals, were bowled over at who got passed by in the ED/EA round. Even compared to just last year. Of course a kid like the one above will go to a good college, but if the counselor saw a parent who was expecting the very top, I'm not so sure the advice was bad.</p>

Next year, 2007, is not an Olympic year, so that is going to be tough.


<p>even if next year were an olympic year, nothing's guaranteed. apparently there was a recently rejected harvard applicant among this year's winter olympic athletes.</p>

<p>Yea, but he probably didn't have great academic numbers.</p>

<p>We live in NY
Our GC is fantastic.
Yes, we were talking about very competitive schools and ivy's. I personally couldn't care less where he went to college, as long as he's happy. And right now, he couldn't care less where he goes to college. But I want him to keep his options open, in case sometime in the future he COULD care less.</p>

<p>The reason we saw the GC was because we are planning my sons schedule for next year. He's a kid, and he wants to take the easiest schedule offered by the school. His GC was trying to encourage him to take the most challenging schedule offered by the school - again, to keep his options open. He's very bright, which is why he has the grades/awards. But he is also your typical 16 year old who wants to watch TV and play video games.</p>

<p>I want to reiterate how wonderful our GC is. My son has an older sibling now in college. The GC targeted with pinpoint accuracy the schools to which his sibling would be accepted. She has a great relationship with many colleges, and many personal relationships with admissions officers.</p>

<p>I'm sure she was just trying to give him a very realistic picture about how competitive college admissions are - not that he cares right now. She doesn't have to give me a realistic picture - I understand.</p>

<p>Its just depressing to me that someone could look at him and think he's not special. I'm sure the GC thinks he's special. All of our kids are special! </p>

<p>It almost seems like in the eyes of a college admissions officer, he (and everyone else) is a piece of meat. And that's what is depressing. All of our kids are special. Why can't they just be kids? Why can't my son study what he likes without being penalized that he's not taking "the most challenging schedule offerred by the school".</p>

<p>Excuse my language, but its such bull....</p>

<p>You can only push your son but so much. Let him figure these things out on his own. It sounds like he's doing quite well, but he may not be on track to get into Harvard. So what? Maybe he'll go to Johns Hopkins or Michigan or Bucknell and end up going to medical school or something equally impressive. If he were performing poorly, there'd be cause for concern and reason for you to intervene, but he seems to be doing just fine.</p>

<p>I wanted to make one other comment about our GC. NO ONE is allowed to send out applications to only selective colleges. EVERY SINGLE KID MUST SEND OUT AN APPLICATION TO AT LEAST ONE SAFETY. The GC is the person who decides what is a safety for each student.</p>

<p>Our school has a 100% college admission rate.</p>

<p>I consider myself extremely lucky to have this GC. She's fabulous.</p>

<p>I am NOT stressing over where my son is going to go to college. He'll be fine wherever he ends up.</p>

<p>I'm depressed that there are going to be admissions officers out there that will not think that he's special. He's so special (especially to me !).</p>

<p>Parents, unite! Our kids are special! It makes no difference where they go to college, so long as they are studying what they like, and most important, so long as they are happy! Who cares what a college admissions officer says! We know our kids better than they do, and we know OUR kids are special!</p>