<p>I believe in hard work and persistence, but I also believe in realistic expectations and one step at a time.</p>
<p>I see students who aspire to go to very competitive schools, with visions of grad school/professional school even if they come with $$$$loans, because of course* they will be making lots of money* and it will be a piece of cake to pay back.</p>
<p>When I was younger and in school, I was always told how smart I was and how I could do anything if I set my mind to it. However, I have learning disabilties, and when I tried as hard as I could, (without guidance), I was very frustrated, when I couldn't achieve what I supposedly was able to. I was told that I just wasn't trying hard enough. So I gave up for a while, because what was the point of working so hard if you weren't getting anywhere?</p>
<p>I see that happening a lot- kids have/ or are held to , high expectations, without helping them break it down into smaller steps.
Without acknowledgement that to stay at one of the lower levels for a time, is OK, even appropriate.</p>
<p>If someone is working at a record shop after high school, they are seen as a "slacker", by someone who expects their kids apparently to only socialize with those who are attending the top 50 schools.</p>
<p>If someone is bright in high school, it is expected they will attend an Ivy, go on to professional school & a shiny life.</p>
<p>When that doesn't happen, despite their being told all their lives they are smarter than others,they may have extreme difficulty coming to terms with that. They don't have any interim goals, because it has always been the big goal that has been in sight.</p>
<p>I realize that we rise to our own and others expectations
I have magnets on my fridge that say "what would you do, if you knew you could not fail?"
But I also worry, that we are setting kids up for a black and white life- they are worth something if they have high acheivements, but the little things, like being kind, being able to make people laugh, or knowing how to make really great creme brulee aren't enough.</p>
<p>I posted in another thread, about my concerns about my daughter who was attending college visits at her high school, for Ivies. I was worried that she was getting an unrealistic view of her chances at those schools & at the same time, she felt that because I felt that way- I didn't think she could achieve or even go to college. ( she is always hard on herself & me)</p>
<p>We are working on that, I am trying to help her have reasonable expectations, rather than a viewpoint that says "if I can't be on the cover of Vogue by the time I am 18 I must be ugly".</p>
<p>I have started this thread, instead of expressing my concerns in other threads, because I want these concerns to be taken seriously, and not written off as a bucket of cold water . After all I only know people through their posts, and they may have a lot of that something extra that I can't see.</p>
<p>Again, I am not saying that with determination and luck, we can't acheive a lot.
But the little things are worth something too. I don't have a degree, nor does my husband, but we have two great kids, a house in an area that we love, time to spend with each other, and time to be involved in the community.</p>
<p>Now that I am middle aged- I see people who had very high goals for themselves- some have achieved them, and then realized that having everything you ever wanted doesn't bring happiness, you have to find that inside of you. </p>
<p>I also see people who think very highly of themselves, but are angry and disappointed, that they didn't reach their goals, so they expect their kids to acheive what they didn't .</p>
<p>Our kids deserve their own goals, and not be compared to their siblings or to what their parents could have but didn't acheive.</p>
<p>Life is a rich tapestry of experience, and there isn't just one successful course through life. I know this is a college board, and everyone is interested in further education, even if their kids are in elementary school!</p>
<p>But I hope we can remember, to help them celebrate their accomplishments,( and our own) even if it is something that they will never use in an essay :)</p>