|By Mammal (Mammal) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 08:19 am: Edit|
Help, it looks as if my hard-working freshman is not destined to make a varsity sports team or eite academic team. Doesn't play an instrument. Quiet, nice kid -- not a "leader." Just a superb student -- probably will have a 4.0 and should have excellent test scores - he was over 1300 on the SAT as an eight grader. He thinks he's going to an ivy league type school. Should we be trying to lower his expectations now? He's doing a lot of extra-curriculars -- newspaper, sports, debate. But when we see some of the shockingly talented kids, we really wonder if he's going to shine at anything. By the way, we love him dearly. I don't mean to denigrate him. He's a wonderful, wonderful kid.
|By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 08:43 am: Edit|
Sounds like my S. Your S's Ecs are actually more varied than my S's. If you read the thread on MIT info session I began yesterday, you will see that I asked the Dean of Admissions about ECs. She implied that they were not very important. My S does take quite advanced college classes which interfere with his ability to do ECs, but he is not an athlete or musician. Nor is he a leader, partly because he has, for a long time, been the youngest member of the team or the class he was in. He is beginning to take on a leadership role for the first time this year, as a junior.
|By Achat (Achat) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 08:48 am: Edit|
Lowering expectations is never a good thing to do. And besides, he is too young, a freshman, and should be enjoying himself. He is a great student, he will get good standardized test scores, so I wouldn't be worried about him if I were you.
But you just said he already is doing a lot of extra-curricular stuff. I wouldn't be worried about him at all.
|By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 09:22 am: Edit|
Please don't lower your son's expectations. But don't ask him to choose colleges yet!!! He's just, like 15 years old??? Let him explore debate, newspaper, and other EC's and with his native smarts he will probably find something in which he will excel. In the meantime, if you lay this big burden on him, he's at risk of hating the next 4 years.
In all likelihood he will find himself very competitive for many very competitive and exciting colleges, including some ivies.
(My son was like yours at this stage -- test scores practically off the scale -- but EC's in fresh year? He started with debate and ended up a state champion his senior year. No problems at all with college admissions. But he also never agonized about it or even stressed about it or anything related to it such as tests.)
|By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:23 am: Edit|
Actually, in all honesty, I think he has a great chance at succeeding into an Ivy.
I know that when I was a 9th grader, I didn't have expectations to become a leader. Somehow, someway, I find myself in the position today.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 01:20 pm: Edit|
I think that even discussing the possibility for "Ivy League" admissions for a 9th grader is misguided.
First, it is far too early to be applying "college" pressure to a kid.
Second, how do you have any idea that one of the "Ivy League" schools will even be a good fit for him once he starts a serious look at different types of colleges?
My advice regarding the college search: KEEP AN OPEN MIND.
|By 3togo (3togo) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 01:26 pm: Edit|
another suggestion ... ECs do not have to be the typical stuff like sports, music, or academic clubs/contests. A commitment to a church, a volunteer organization, or the scouts for example might be a terrifc EC and, frankly, might stand-out from the zillions of sports captains. Your son sounds terrific I'd suggest supporting him in whatever he shows an interest in becoming involved in ... it seems to me that amazing kids seem to find things that draw them in and the challenge as parents is how to support that interest (especially if it is unconventional or inconvenient)
|By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 01:30 pm: Edit|
Mammal -- if he is involved in these activities in ninth grade and continues them through HS, it is likely he will have some sort of leadership position in at least one of them.
That being said, it sounds like he is doing the right thing by exploring different activities, and presumably he will decide whether to pursue any or all of them based on his interests.
Since he's getting good grades and is getting involved in things that interest him, I wouldn't even talk about college w/him at this point. From what you're saying, he's on the right track.
|By Marny (Marny) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 01:44 pm: Edit|
Newspaper--Sports and Debate. That's a wonderful mix of activities. As his HS career continues, I'm sure he'll stay involved and develop those interests into wonderful "EC's". Sometimes it's better to pick a few solid activities that a kid truly enjoys instead of doing too many things to impress the admission committee. Even if he's not great in sports, he can do such things as being a referee for CYO or PAL and make some money too. I think colleges also like to see some student employment as it probably makes the kids look more responsible. (My daughter will be refereeing her first game on Saturday. She'll make $40 for working 2 games. Not bad) Basically let him find his interests and develop them to the fullest. He'll do fine.
|By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 01:55 pm: Edit|
Why would he want to go to an "Ivy-type" school? I can name 20 areas -- from aeronautical engineering to business development (well, maybe Wharton) to physical therapy -- where there isn't a single Ivy-type school that would make the top 50.
I mean they MAY turn out to be right places for him, but how would HE know?
|By Simba (Simba) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 02:31 pm: Edit|
You shouldn't lower the expectations. However, you also should present a realistic picture.
I must admit that it is very hard. Our S, thought of his safety as a last resort. When I was talking up the safety (BTW it is a very fine school), even my wife accused me of being a scrooge. For a long time, both of them thought I was talking up the safety because I didn't want to spend money.
But a few visits later and first hand situations of some other kids made them realize that it is not a question of lowering your expectations or money, but rather have a realistic scenerio.
|By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 05:19 pm: Edit|
IMO what you should focus on is helping your kid become the best "himself" that he can be. You do this by giving him every opportunity to pursue his interests and hone and discover his talents.
After you do that, then look for colleges that are a good match for him.
The point is not to push a kid toward an Ivy or any particular school, but help the young person become their optimal selves: intellectually, artistically, athletically, ethically, healthfully, and in terms of their social skills.
Then, look for a school where your son would be happy and where he could continue developing into his optimal self.
|By Farawayplaces (Farawayplaces) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 05:33 pm: Edit|
And the saddest thing, I think, is for kids to strategize ECs. Do the kind of ECs or number of them that they think will give them a boost into a name brand school. What a waste!
Sounds like your kid is fine. One of mine lucked into a name brand school--the one with the lesser grades and fewer ECs, no volunteer work, etc. Just so happened that his nutsy dedication to a hobby we tried to talk him out of beginning in 6th grade made him attractive! Go figure!
But the other one got a great education in her unfamous but rigorous LAC. Six years later she's happy! She's successful!
Don't worry about it; if the Ivy thing happens, it happens!
|By Fresca (Fresca) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 05:38 pm: Edit|
Ninth graders are ready to hear the reality of what it takes to get into colleges of every calibre. In fact, the summer before ninth grade is the perfect time to begin this discussion if you have not already. Many parents use books to convey the realities. There are many good ones referenced throughout this board. This way the messege is more generic and not parental pressure. Let your student know you'll be pleased wherever he ends up, but he needs to know the facts about the colleges that will please him.
If going to Harvard is important to your child, he may go out on a limb to seek leadership positions that he won't if he thinks he will be accepted solely on academic prowess. He may use all high school summers more productively, etc, Don't be afraid of the truth!
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