Why We Need Change at the College Level

Posted on Nov 14, 2017 in Connect2Tech | 0 comments

Why We Need Change at the College Level

Last week I talked about the debate going on at my school over summer assignments. This really all goes back to the expectations of colleges and telling parents that their students need to take as many AP/Honors classes that they can fit into their schedule. And if they need to be on meds to keep up with the schedule so be it. The competition is too great.

I am appalled by what has become the education standard in the US. I have a lot of personal experience with this that I am going to share with you. You may or may not agree with what I say, but I ask that you look at your children and evaluate their needs before what you are being told is expected of them.

My own daughter is off the charts smart. She always scored in the 99 percentile all the way down on those IOWA tests. Straight A’s, a math freak of nature, an academic decathlon first place medal winner in fact. Her father thought she should take every Honors/AP test she could because we had an Ivy Leaguer on our hands. I never had to push her, honestly she pushed herself.

This is also the child who had a beautiful voice, love to sing, be in plays, and even taught herself to play the piano and read music. She could knit, sew, basically anything she put her mind to-and that is the daughter that I loved more than her report card. I was always more interested in supporting her creative endeavors as this was more my “thing.”

She was on her way to scholarship land when I got a call her sophomore year from the counselor at school to come pick her up. They discovered she had been cutting (herself) and now she couldn’t come back to school until we had her evaluated by a psychologist. I still remember the terror I felt receiving that phone call.

What followed was a long, difficult sophomore year. We went through her disappearing for a day, thoughts of suicide, and lots of visits to the psych doctors. I battled her dad (we are divorced) over putting her on medication and I finally convinced him it was better than getting a call that she had hurt herself again. I spent many sleepless, paranoid nights and finally took control forcing her to only concentrate on the classes she loved. She stayed with AP Calculus because she loves math but everything else was dropped. She made Chambers in choir her Senior year and sang for the Pope. She did not apply to Stanford or Harvard.

Instead she focused on getting into UCI where she majored in computer science/computer game science. And in college she was okay with getting a C in a course. She finally let herself have a life outside of school.

She graduated this year and has a job with a WordPress plugin company, and get this, she works from home! My dream job.

My point in telling this story is to help parents understand that it’s okay for your students to fail. It’s okay for them to just be a student and take the classes they love instead of what the big schools are telling them to take. Maybe those aren’t the schools for them anyway. I can’t even imagine my daughter at an Ivy League school, smart as she is. Even at a Cal Tech or MIT. She would be lost.

Don’t just look at your student’s test scores. Look at the whole child. Maybe they are straight A students but they are also creative and would be better in a conservatory. Maybe they are wicked smart but working as a sound engineer and instead of going to college would do better with straight work experience. And don’t put your dreams on to your child. Let them follow their own. If you never followed your dreams it’s never too late to start.

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