At this time of year, I’d like to believe that my prospective college applicants have completed their college applications, and that private school applicants are nearly done as well. Yet every year there is one student out there testing my limits.
I sometimes feel like the proverbial voice in the wilderness, shouting out loud and no one to hear me when it comes to that “one student”. Where are you? I ask, more for myself to hear than for anyone else, since the student does not generally respond as quickly as expected. It can be very frustrating, to say the least. But I try to keep a sense of humor about it.
Many parents think of educational consultants as something like miracle workers when it comes to getting things done, particularly with students who believe that putting things off is perfectly appropriate in all situations and at all times. And sometimes we have to think like miracle workers–how am I going to get this student’s work in on time when they still haven’t done (whatever it is)? But we slog forward, trying to keep their eyes focused on their goals, even if sometimes it seems we do so when they are completely uninvested. For the most part, I believe that these students do care–they just don’t understand deadlines.
I think my favorite case (like this) was a nice and talented young man who was determined to apply to an Ivy because the coach told him he was a shoo-in. I said no, he was not. He had good grades, but nothing that would get him there. And the coach does not have the final say. He insisted that he was going to get in because the coach at the Ivy said so, and therefore this was the only college to which he would apply. I warned him, and his parents, that I would not be available during the holiday break. The applications for the other colleges were due December 31st. I got the phone call on December 30th that he was not accepted to the Ivy. We spent my vacation day finishing his other applications.
To all parents, I hear your pain. I feel it, too. And to all the would-be applicants out there, Where are you? This is your future. Make it count.