OK, so I lied

I wasn’t going to post this week, but I just read this article about the 50% college drop-out rate. I have been ranting about this for years, and it was a major motivation for the writing of CATALYST. We are very good at getting kids into college in America. We suck at preparing them to actually succeed in college and graduate, and we do a lousy job helping them choose the college that is right for them!!!!! (Read my essay about this.)

:pauses to wipe spittle off mouth::

How do we do this better? How do we help kids choose the right school? What tools do they need that they are not getting now?

Tomorrow is a big extended-family gig, then I’m off to NCTE, camera in hand. Tune in this weekend for photos.

117 Replies to “OK, so I lied”

  1. I am so stressed about college. One school I would love to go to is also scary because of the competition and expectations to do extremely well. I panic about going to a 2 year school and transferring to save on tuition because I am a social retard and wouldn’t be able to make friends when I transferred to the 4 year school. Part of me hates high school and wishes it to be over with, and another part dreads possibly making the wrong decision.

  2. I am so stressed about college. One school I would love to go to is also scary because of the competition and expectations to do extremely well. I panic about going to a 2 year school and transferring to save on tuition because I am a social retard and wouldn’t be able to make friends when I transferred to the 4 year school. Part of me hates high school and wishes it to be over with, and another part dreads possibly making the wrong decision.

  3. I am so stressed about college. One school I would love to go to is also scary because of the competition and expectations to do extremely well. I panic about going to a 2 year school and transferring to save on tuition because I am a social retard and wouldn’t be able to make friends when I transferred to the 4 year school. Part of me hates high school and wishes it to be over with, and another part dreads possibly making the wrong decision.

  4. I briefly taught freshman English students at a top-tier university. They were very bright and came from strong educational backgrounds; they could read fairly well and write coherent sentences. But they had absolutely no experience with critical thinking or analytical reasoning, and most of them could not articulate a thesis statement at all, much less write a thesis paper. Which is weird, because I think of that as the crucial work of middle and high school, but I suppose my own education included little explicit instruction in that area. So I think that would help a lot.

  5. I briefly taught freshman English students at a top-tier university. They were very bright and came from strong educational backgrounds; they could read fairly well and write coherent sentences. But they had absolutely no experience with critical thinking or analytical reasoning, and most of them could not articulate a thesis statement at all, much less write a thesis paper. Which is weird, because I think of that as the crucial work of middle and high school, but I suppose my own education included little explicit instruction in that area. So I think that would help a lot.

      1. I actually think adolescents are very capable of thinking critically — most fancy-pants private schools and many great teachers elsewhere regularly demand it of middle and high school students. But we don’t teach much about it until college, and I think that gap is part of what makes the freshman year so difficult academically.

        1. My teachers have been telling us throughout high school how after teaching college they realize how little incoming freshman know little about analysis and writing.. my school, I feel, does a good job in the English department, stressing the importance of critical analysis in our writing. My English teacher this year said that he was teaching at a college a few years ago at the same time he was teaching at a high school, and he realized that his high school students were writing better than his college students. Maybe it depends on the teachers and the schools, but at least my teachers have realized how much they need to prepare us so we don’t flounder next year.

    1. I’m now a senior in highschool, but my English teacher last year began teaching us how to do a thesis paper. She said one of her expectation of us was for us to be able to write a thesis paper by the end of the year and know the steps like the back of our hand. She thought it was really important that we know and it was because now that I’m a senior we are constantly dealing with thesis statements and papers in our English class. I know I’ll be exremely prepared when college rolls around

  6. I briefly taught freshman English students at a top-tier university. They were very bright and came from strong educational backgrounds; they could read fairly well and write coherent sentences. But they had absolutely no experience with critical thinking or analytical reasoning, and most of them could not articulate a thesis statement at all, much less write a thesis paper. Which is weird, because I think of that as the crucial work of middle and high school, but I suppose my own education included little explicit instruction in that area. So I think that would help a lot.

  7. Oh man, F. college as the be-all end-all so hard. Problem is we are creating expectation for everybody to go to college regardless of what job you’re intending which makes undergraduate degrees worthless, which makes everyone have (AND EXPECT) huge piles of debt for school, etc, etc

    Alternatives, I tell you! Apprenticeships! Not everyone needs to go to school for sixteen g.d. years. Man even being a librarian takes undergrad and additional 2 year degree, and because of the plethora of overqualified people it’s getting more and more common to have multiple master’s degrees. This is frigging ridiculous! Even elementary school teachers which used to have a fifth-year degree over a B.A. or B.S. are more and more getting masters’ degrees.

    Probably this has somethign to do with the decline of skilled labor and other non-service jobs in the U.S. but oh god I don’t even want to think about this. Mostly I’m just bitter because I’ve loathed school since I was six. Life is not school. School preps you for life, but dear God, life is not school.

  8. Oh man, F. college as the be-all end-all so hard. Problem is we are creating expectation for everybody to go to college regardless of what job you’re intending which makes undergraduate degrees worthless, which makes everyone have (AND EXPECT) huge piles of debt for school, etc, etc

    Alternatives, I tell you! Apprenticeships! Not everyone needs to go to school for sixteen g.d. years. Man even being a librarian takes undergrad and additional 2 year degree, and because of the plethora of overqualified people it’s getting more and more common to have multiple master’s degrees. This is frigging ridiculous! Even elementary school teachers which used to have a fifth-year degree over a B.A. or B.S. are more and more getting masters’ degrees.

    Probably this has somethign to do with the decline of skilled labor and other non-service jobs in the U.S. but oh god I don’t even want to think about this. Mostly I’m just bitter because I’ve loathed school since I was six. Life is not school. School preps you for life, but dear God, life is not school.

    1. you know I say that alot and I’m in college.I think Media also influence people to go to school also. Something like the ..”new fashion trend” that is popular. Not everyone needs college to get by on to tell the truth. My experience has been pretty fair thus far but the stress factor isn’t worth it and I can see and feel the effects.

    2. I want to teach kindergarten but I can’t afford all of that schooling and its not fair. I can guarentee 97% that I will never need chemistry or Calculas, yet they want me to take these classes that I still can’t afford and could care less about. I mean if I was going to be an archetect then yes LOTS of math, but come on!

  9. Oh man, F. college as the be-all end-all so hard. Problem is we are creating expectation for everybody to go to college regardless of what job you’re intending which makes undergraduate degrees worthless, which makes everyone have (AND EXPECT) huge piles of debt for school, etc, etc

    Alternatives, I tell you! Apprenticeships! Not everyone needs to go to school for sixteen g.d. years. Man even being a librarian takes undergrad and additional 2 year degree, and because of the plethora of overqualified people it’s getting more and more common to have multiple master’s degrees. This is frigging ridiculous! Even elementary school teachers which used to have a fifth-year degree over a B.A. or B.S. are more and more getting masters’ degrees.

    Probably this has somethign to do with the decline of skilled labor and other non-service jobs in the U.S. but oh god I don’t even want to think about this. Mostly I’m just bitter because I’ve loathed school since I was six. Life is not school. School preps you for life, but dear God, life is not school.

  10. I actually think adolescents are very capable of thinking critically — most fancy-pants private schools and many great teachers elsewhere regularly demand it of middle and high school students. But we don’t teach much about it until college, and I think that gap is part of what makes the freshman year so difficult academically.

  11. I actually think adolescents are very capable of thinking critically — most fancy-pants private schools and many great teachers elsewhere regularly demand it of middle and high school students. But we don’t teach much about it until college, and I think that gap is part of what makes the freshman year so difficult academically.

  12. My teachers have been telling us throughout high school how after teaching college they realize how little incoming freshman know little about analysis and writing.. my school, I feel, does a good job in the English department, stressing the importance of critical analysis in our writing. My English teacher this year said that he was teaching at a college a few years ago at the same time he was teaching at a high school, and he realized that his high school students were writing better than his college students. Maybe it depends on the teachers and the schools, but at least my teachers have realized how much they need to prepare us so we don’t flounder next year.

  13. My teachers have been telling us throughout high school how after teaching college they realize how little incoming freshman know little about analysis and writing.. my school, I feel, does a good job in the English department, stressing the importance of critical analysis in our writing. My English teacher this year said that he was teaching at a college a few years ago at the same time he was teaching at a high school, and he realized that his high school students were writing better than his college students. Maybe it depends on the teachers and the schools, but at least my teachers have realized how much they need to prepare us so we don’t flounder next year.

  14. I dropped out of my first college because of severely disabling anxiety issues. Not only was I terrified of talking to my professors, but I was terrified of telling someone about my fears, because it seems so silly.

    A lot of the anxiety was because I was attending an honors college which had very very little hand-holding type of guidance, and I didn’t have a clue how to write an essay longer than five paragraphs. My teachers assumed we had this skill throughout highschool because I was in the honors and AP courses. They never actually checked.

    I honestly think that a lot of people like me are doing poorly in school and wanting to drop out because they’re afraid to ask for help. All my life, I assumed that asking for help would mean I was weak, and weak people don’t deserve help. I have since learned better, though I’m still awful at asking for assistance when I need it!, and I’ve met several other students at my current university who have the same problem.

    Oh, plus I’m autistic. Only I just found out last spring. That means I’m easily stressed by the high demand university and my part-time job places on me anyway. I tested out of all the basic classes, so I’ve been doing 12 hours a semester of pretty much non-stop English lit courses, plus 12 to 30 hours a week at the mall working.

    I think way too much is expected from students. If I don’t go to school full time, I can’t get medical insurance unless I pay for it myself, but I can’t afford it because I don’t have the qualifications for a well-paying job that leaves me room for studying and writing essays. And I have to have medical insurance, because I can’t pay upwards of $100 per month for a bottle of pills that help me get through the day.

    I just spent the last semester working parttime and not going to school and it has been the best semester in my life. I’m dreading going back in the spring, especially since I’ve signed up for a creative writing course AND a literature course AND an art appreciation course AND a linguistics course. So much work!

  15. I dropped out of my first college because of severely disabling anxiety issues. Not only was I terrified of talking to my professors, but I was terrified of telling someone about my fears, because it seems so silly.

    A lot of the anxiety was because I was attending an honors college which had very very little hand-holding type of guidance, and I didn’t have a clue how to write an essay longer than five paragraphs. My teachers assumed we had this skill throughout highschool because I was in the honors and AP courses. They never actually checked.

    I honestly think that a lot of people like me are doing poorly in school and wanting to drop out because they’re afraid to ask for help. All my life, I assumed that asking for help would mean I was weak, and weak people don’t deserve help. I have since learned better, though I’m still awful at asking for assistance when I need it!, and I’ve met several other students at my current university who have the same problem.

    Oh, plus I’m autistic. Only I just found out last spring. That means I’m easily stressed by the high demand university and my part-time job places on me anyway. I tested out of all the basic classes, so I’ve been doing 12 hours a semester of pretty much non-stop English lit courses, plus 12 to 30 hours a week at the mall working.

    I think way too much is expected from students. If I don’t go to school full time, I can’t get medical insurance unless I pay for it myself, but I can’t afford it because I don’t have the qualifications for a well-paying job that leaves me room for studying and writing essays. And I have to have medical insurance, because I can’t pay upwards of $100 per month for a bottle of pills that help me get through the day.

    I just spent the last semester working parttime and not going to school and it has been the best semester in my life. I’m dreading going back in the spring, especially since I’ve signed up for a creative writing course AND a literature course AND an art appreciation course AND a linguistics course. So much work!

    1. I feel what your saying about telling your fears to someone. It’s hard to find people who you can actually trust when coming to personal issues.I know I’m not doing as good as I expect but I figure since I’m paying for it, might as well make use out of the professors with asking for assistance when needed. I’m a very shy type Big-time. I give you credit for what you’re doing.

  16. I dropped out of my first college because of severely disabling anxiety issues. Not only was I terrified of talking to my professors, but I was terrified of telling someone about my fears, because it seems so silly.

    A lot of the anxiety was because I was attending an honors college which had very very little hand-holding type of guidance, and I didn’t have a clue how to write an essay longer than five paragraphs. My teachers assumed we had this skill throughout highschool because I was in the honors and AP courses. They never actually checked.

    I honestly think that a lot of people like me are doing poorly in school and wanting to drop out because they’re afraid to ask for help. All my life, I assumed that asking for help would mean I was weak, and weak people don’t deserve help. I have since learned better, though I’m still awful at asking for assistance when I need it!, and I’ve met several other students at my current university who have the same problem.

    Oh, plus I’m autistic. Only I just found out last spring. That means I’m easily stressed by the high demand university and my part-time job places on me anyway. I tested out of all the basic classes, so I’ve been doing 12 hours a semester of pretty much non-stop English lit courses, plus 12 to 30 hours a week at the mall working.

    I think way too much is expected from students. If I don’t go to school full time, I can’t get medical insurance unless I pay for it myself, but I can’t afford it because I don’t have the qualifications for a well-paying job that leaves me room for studying and writing essays. And I have to have medical insurance, because I can’t pay upwards of $100 per month for a bottle of pills that help me get through the day.

    I just spent the last semester working parttime and not going to school and it has been the best semester in my life. I’m dreading going back in the spring, especially since I’ve signed up for a creative writing course AND a literature course AND an art appreciation course AND a linguistics course. So much work!

  17. I’m a lucky one. My dad was in Vietnam, lost part of his hearing, and therefore the Veteran’s Association is paying for my brother’s and my complete tuitions to an instate (Indiana) college for four years. I love Indiana University in Bloomington, where my brother goes, and will more than likely go there. I’m a good student with a good GPA, but I have fun and don’t stress as much as many of my peers in my advanced classes. I know I’ll be accepted because my grades are better then my brother’s were, but I also realize that I’ll never get this time in my life back. It’s sort of sad seeing so many of my friends care more about grades then having fun and being a kid.

    I loved your essay. I also agree with it completely. It’s scary that from grade 8 I’ve heard that I must have my four-year plan figured out freshman year. The adults make it seem that if I don’t have everything figured out from then, I’ll be completely messed over and never get into college and therefore never have a job or life or husband and therefore become a lonely, old lady with a bunch of cats in a smelly apartment. I have no clue what I want to do with my life. I like that though. I like the unexpected and figuring it out. I like not having a detailed plan. I know that I don’t want to get involved in bad things now because it’ll mess me over later and I know I want to go to college and I know I want to be intelligent so I absorb everything around me, but I feel like that’s so much better then any plan anyone could have.

    It’s just my two cents.

  18. I’m a lucky one. My dad was in Vietnam, lost part of his hearing, and therefore the Veteran’s Association is paying for my brother’s and my complete tuitions to an instate (Indiana) college for four years. I love Indiana University in Bloomington, where my brother goes, and will more than likely go there. I’m a good student with a good GPA, but I have fun and don’t stress as much as many of my peers in my advanced classes. I know I’ll be accepted because my grades are better then my brother’s were, but I also realize that I’ll never get this time in my life back. It’s sort of sad seeing so many of my friends care more about grades then having fun and being a kid.

    I loved your essay. I also agree with it completely. It’s scary that from grade 8 I’ve heard that I must have my four-year plan figured out freshman year. The adults make it seem that if I don’t have everything figured out from then, I’ll be completely messed over and never get into college and therefore never have a job or life or husband and therefore become a lonely, old lady with a bunch of cats in a smelly apartment. I have no clue what I want to do with my life. I like that though. I like the unexpected and figuring it out. I like not having a detailed plan. I know that I don’t want to get involved in bad things now because it’ll mess me over later and I know I want to go to college and I know I want to be intelligent so I absorb everything around me, but I feel like that’s so much better then any plan anyone could have.

    It’s just my two cents.

  19. I’m a lucky one. My dad was in Vietnam, lost part of his hearing, and therefore the Veteran’s Association is paying for my brother’s and my complete tuitions to an instate (Indiana) college for four years. I love Indiana University in Bloomington, where my brother goes, and will more than likely go there. I’m a good student with a good GPA, but I have fun and don’t stress as much as many of my peers in my advanced classes. I know I’ll be accepted because my grades are better then my brother’s were, but I also realize that I’ll never get this time in my life back. It’s sort of sad seeing so many of my friends care more about grades then having fun and being a kid.

    I loved your essay. I also agree with it completely. It’s scary that from grade 8 I’ve heard that I must have my four-year plan figured out freshman year. The adults make it seem that if I don’t have everything figured out from then, I’ll be completely messed over and never get into college and therefore never have a job or life or husband and therefore become a lonely, old lady with a bunch of cats in a smelly apartment. I have no clue what I want to do with my life. I like that though. I like the unexpected and figuring it out. I like not having a detailed plan. I know that I don’t want to get involved in bad things now because it’ll mess me over later and I know I want to go to college and I know I want to be intelligent so I absorb everything around me, but I feel like that’s so much better then any plan anyone could have.

    It’s just my two cents.

  20. I’m so scared about college, my junior year is almost half way over and I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with myself after high school. The counselor at our school came in and talked during one of my classes a couple months ago and she made it sound like that if you don’t take all these advanced classes then there’s no chance of you making it in college. I’m only taking a few advanced classes, but other than that, it looks like I’m pretty underqualified to get into a college with all this competition. I’ll probably end up at a junior college and see where that takes me from there…

  21. I’m so scared about college, my junior year is almost half way over and I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with myself after high school. The counselor at our school came in and talked during one of my classes a couple months ago and she made it sound like that if you don’t take all these advanced classes then there’s no chance of you making it in college. I’m only taking a few advanced classes, but other than that, it looks like I’m pretty underqualified to get into a college with all this competition. I’ll probably end up at a junior college and see where that takes me from there…

  22. I’m so scared about college, my junior year is almost half way over and I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with myself after high school. The counselor at our school came in and talked during one of my classes a couple months ago and she made it sound like that if you don’t take all these advanced classes then there’s no chance of you making it in college. I’m only taking a few advanced classes, but other than that, it looks like I’m pretty underqualified to get into a college with all this competition. I’ll probably end up at a junior college and see where that takes me from there…

  23. I don’t think people should be allowed to go into college until at least a year after their high school graduation. It would allow perspective and some cool-down time which so many desperately need. It would also allow the last year of high school to be about high school, rather than OMIGOD GETTING IN to that “perfect” school. In my job I see way too many freshmen who really could have used some chill time to work, do an internship, go abroad, something like that. Not that I think nobody is ready for college at 18, just that it’d be nice to get that gap year, and even people who are ready would benefit from some time off–anybody would, at any time in their life. This just seems like a sensible time to do it. It’s fairly common in Europe, I think.

    I just realized, though, that only works for families that can afford to have a legal adult not doing anything terribly productive for a year. Which may not be very many. Well, it’s a nice thought, anyway.

  24. I don’t think people should be allowed to go into college until at least a year after their high school graduation. It would allow perspective and some cool-down time which so many desperately need. It would also allow the last year of high school to be about high school, rather than OMIGOD GETTING IN to that “perfect” school. In my job I see way too many freshmen who really could have used some chill time to work, do an internship, go abroad, something like that. Not that I think nobody is ready for college at 18, just that it’d be nice to get that gap year, and even people who are ready would benefit from some time off–anybody would, at any time in their life. This just seems like a sensible time to do it. It’s fairly common in Europe, I think.

    I just realized, though, that only works for families that can afford to have a legal adult not doing anything terribly productive for a year. Which may not be very many. Well, it’s a nice thought, anyway.

    1. So what would you have said to your parents if they had insisted you take a gap year after high school?

      (Unfair question, I know.)

      And… given how hard it is for any 18-yr-old to buck the oppressive “You Must Go To College Or You Are Worthless” system, what can we do to support those kids who might want to take that gap year? How do we take this minor trend to the tipping point?

      1. Well, it has to be the larger trend. If my parents had insisted, I would have been upset, but if they had made it clear they weren’t paying for college unless I took at least a year off, I probably would have complied.

        You could get rid of most guidance counselors, for a start. I think also if more people were honest about their education history it would help.

        It would have to be part of a larger trend. I think the current college situation is going to collapse in 10-15 years, so maybe that can change then too.

      2. answer to the unfair question..

        What would I have said to my parents?

        I would have asked them why they said then and they probably really thought about it. Granted I’m loving college and my friends and stuff but I think I could have used it. I am a year behind age wise, so it might be nice to finally not be known as the young one. On the other hand, I’m not sure what I would have done for a year. It would be awesome to have gone to Greece or Turkey, but I think it would be tough. For awhile I was thinking of working in California for a year so I could get state tutiton, but that went away with their lack of majors.

        Anyway. Have an awesome week. SEE YOU IN 5 DAYS!

  25. I don’t think people should be allowed to go into college until at least a year after their high school graduation. It would allow perspective and some cool-down time which so many desperately need. It would also allow the last year of high school to be about high school, rather than OMIGOD GETTING IN to that “perfect” school. In my job I see way too many freshmen who really could have used some chill time to work, do an internship, go abroad, something like that. Not that I think nobody is ready for college at 18, just that it’d be nice to get that gap year, and even people who are ready would benefit from some time off–anybody would, at any time in their life. This just seems like a sensible time to do it. It’s fairly common in Europe, I think.

    I just realized, though, that only works for families that can afford to have a legal adult not doing anything terribly productive for a year. Which may not be very many. Well, it’s a nice thought, anyway.

  26. I happen to think that too many kids are going to college these days. All parents pretty much expect their kids to go, even if their child would be better suited going to a trade school and learning how to cut hair or install plumbing or whatever. So perhaps at least part of the drop-out rate is a correction. And there are more tools available to kids now than there ever were, in the form of tutors and extra help and alternative testing, so I’m not sure it’s a true failure of the schools they wind up in. But I doubt that twice as many kids are going to college as should be, and not all kids are a good fit for all schools, so I’m guessing that folks need to form a clearer expectation of what they want out of college to find a better fit (as you stated in the first place).

  27. I happen to think that too many kids are going to college these days. All parents pretty much expect their kids to go, even if their child would be better suited going to a trade school and learning how to cut hair or install plumbing or whatever. So perhaps at least part of the drop-out rate is a correction. And there are more tools available to kids now than there ever were, in the form of tutors and extra help and alternative testing, so I’m not sure it’s a true failure of the schools they wind up in. But I doubt that twice as many kids are going to college as should be, and not all kids are a good fit for all schools, so I’m guessing that folks need to form a clearer expectation of what they want out of college to find a better fit (as you stated in the first place).

  28. I happen to think that too many kids are going to college these days. All parents pretty much expect their kids to go, even if their child would be better suited going to a trade school and learning how to cut hair or install plumbing or whatever. So perhaps at least part of the drop-out rate is a correction. And there are more tools available to kids now than there ever were, in the form of tutors and extra help and alternative testing, so I’m not sure it’s a true failure of the schools they wind up in. But I doubt that twice as many kids are going to college as should be, and not all kids are a good fit for all schools, so I’m guessing that folks need to form a clearer expectation of what they want out of college to find a better fit (as you stated in the first place).

  29. I feel what your saying about telling your fears to someone. It’s hard to find people who you can actually trust when coming to personal issues.I know I’m not doing as good as I expect but I figure since I’m paying for it, might as well make use out of the professors with asking for assistance when needed. I’m a very shy type Big-time. I give you credit for what you’re doing.

  30. I feel what your saying about telling your fears to someone. It’s hard to find people who you can actually trust when coming to personal issues.I know I’m not doing as good as I expect but I figure since I’m paying for it, might as well make use out of the professors with asking for assistance when needed. I’m a very shy type Big-time. I give you credit for what you’re doing.

  31. you know I say that alot and I’m in college.I think Media also influence people to go to school also. Something like the ..”new fashion trend” that is popular. Not everyone needs college to get by on to tell the truth. My experience has been pretty fair thus far but the stress factor isn’t worth it and I can see and feel the effects.

  32. you know I say that alot and I’m in college.I think Media also influence people to go to school also. Something like the ..”new fashion trend” that is popular. Not everyone needs college to get by on to tell the truth. My experience has been pretty fair thus far but the stress factor isn’t worth it and I can see and feel the effects.

  33. So what would you have said to your parents if they had insisted you take a gap year after high school?

    (Unfair question, I know.)

    And… given how hard it is for any 18-yr-old to buck the oppressive “You Must Go To College Or You Are Worthless” system, what can we do to support those kids who might want to take that gap year? How do we take this minor trend to the tipping point?

  34. So what would you have said to your parents if they had insisted you take a gap year after high school?

    (Unfair question, I know.)

    And… given how hard it is for any 18-yr-old to buck the oppressive “You Must Go To College Or You Are Worthless” system, what can we do to support those kids who might want to take that gap year? How do we take this minor trend to the tipping point?

  35. I’m now a senior in highschool, but my English teacher last year began teaching us how to do a thesis paper. She said one of her expectation of us was for us to be able to write a thesis paper by the end of the year and know the steps like the back of our hand. She thought it was really important that we know and it was because now that I’m a senior we are constantly dealing with thesis statements and papers in our English class. I know I’ll be exremely prepared when college rolls around

  36. I’m now a senior in highschool, but my English teacher last year began teaching us how to do a thesis paper. She said one of her expectation of us was for us to be able to write a thesis paper by the end of the year and know the steps like the back of our hand. She thought it was really important that we know and it was because now that I’m a senior we are constantly dealing with thesis statements and papers in our English class. I know I’ll be exremely prepared when college rolls around

  37. one of the best choices i ever made in my life was to NOT go to college right away. i took one semester off, and that was all i needed. when january rolled around, i was starving for education. “TEACH ME. ANYTHING! I WANT TO LEEEEEARRRN!!!” in fact, when high school students ask me advice about college, i tell them 1) that their parents will probably kill me for saying this… 2) if you dont feel like you’re ready to get right in there and buckle down and work hard, don’t go.

    its a big responsibility. i watched two friends throw away their first year of college drinking and they are STILL trying to recoup their GPA’s four years later. it is better to do college right the first time (even if its late) than to screw up and have to go back and fix it.

    i think the almighty dollar is what is fueling this whole Go To College IMMEDIATELY! Machine. somebody is making some sweet cash off of our SATs, ACTs, etc.

    i guess my supportive parents helped me get through it. they were worried i wouldnt go back, but they’ve also taught me the value of education…and so even while i was working two jobs (13 hr days, yuck!) and making tons of money, i had that irk that something was missing…

    i have to go watch Prisoner of Azkaban now to get (MORE!) psyched for Goblet of Fire.

  38. one of the best choices i ever made in my life was to NOT go to college right away. i took one semester off, and that was all i needed. when january rolled around, i was starving for education. “TEACH ME. ANYTHING! I WANT TO LEEEEEARRRN!!!” in fact, when high school students ask me advice about college, i tell them 1) that their parents will probably kill me for saying this… 2) if you dont feel like you’re ready to get right in there and buckle down and work hard, don’t go.

    its a big responsibility. i watched two friends throw away their first year of college drinking and they are STILL trying to recoup their GPA’s four years later. it is better to do college right the first time (even if its late) than to screw up and have to go back and fix it.

    i think the almighty dollar is what is fueling this whole Go To College IMMEDIATELY! Machine. somebody is making some sweet cash off of our SATs, ACTs, etc.

    i guess my supportive parents helped me get through it. they were worried i wouldnt go back, but they’ve also taught me the value of education…and so even while i was working two jobs (13 hr days, yuck!) and making tons of money, i had that irk that something was missing…

    i have to go watch Prisoner of Azkaban now to get (MORE!) psyched for Goblet of Fire.

  39. one of the best choices i ever made in my life was to NOT go to college right away. i took one semester off, and that was all i needed. when january rolled around, i was starving for education. “TEACH ME. ANYTHING! I WANT TO LEEEEEARRRN!!!” in fact, when high school students ask me advice about college, i tell them 1) that their parents will probably kill me for saying this… 2) if you dont feel like you’re ready to get right in there and buckle down and work hard, don’t go.

    its a big responsibility. i watched two friends throw away their first year of college drinking and they are STILL trying to recoup their GPA’s four years later. it is better to do college right the first time (even if its late) than to screw up and have to go back and fix it.

    i think the almighty dollar is what is fueling this whole Go To College IMMEDIATELY! Machine. somebody is making some sweet cash off of our SATs, ACTs, etc.

    i guess my supportive parents helped me get through it. they were worried i wouldnt go back, but they’ve also taught me the value of education…and so even while i was working two jobs (13 hr days, yuck!) and making tons of money, i had that irk that something was missing…

    i have to go watch Prisoner of Azkaban now to get (MORE!) psyched for Goblet of Fire.

  40. My two cents worth…

    Hi, I’ve never commented here before, but I love your journal.

    One thing about university that I have a problem with is the way they go about teaching and testing you. A lot of times I’m learning about things that are probably very interesting, only I don’t have time to actually learn about them, or even just think about them and form opinions of my own. They give you so much work that all I can do is work as fast as possible to get through it all. To me, this is not the best way to actually learn things.

    The other thing (although probably unavoidable) is that people are still so young in university. I’m halfway through my third year, and I *just* turned 20. So I don’t really want to study for 10 hours every day, I want to live, and go out and do things that interest me, and learn about who I am, and what I want. Not be thinking about a thesis program and grad schools.

    Have a great rest of your week!
    Sarah

  41. My two cents worth…

    Hi, I’ve never commented here before, but I love your journal.

    One thing about university that I have a problem with is the way they go about teaching and testing you. A lot of times I’m learning about things that are probably very interesting, only I don’t have time to actually learn about them, or even just think about them and form opinions of my own. They give you so much work that all I can do is work as fast as possible to get through it all. To me, this is not the best way to actually learn things.

    The other thing (although probably unavoidable) is that people are still so young in university. I’m halfway through my third year, and I *just* turned 20. So I don’t really want to study for 10 hours every day, I want to live, and go out and do things that interest me, and learn about who I am, and what I want. Not be thinking about a thesis program and grad schools.

    Have a great rest of your week!
    Sarah

  42. My two cents worth…

    Hi, I’ve never commented here before, but I love your journal.

    One thing about university that I have a problem with is the way they go about teaching and testing you. A lot of times I’m learning about things that are probably very interesting, only I don’t have time to actually learn about them, or even just think about them and form opinions of my own. They give you so much work that all I can do is work as fast as possible to get through it all. To me, this is not the best way to actually learn things.

    The other thing (although probably unavoidable) is that people are still so young in university. I’m halfway through my third year, and I *just* turned 20. So I don’t really want to study for 10 hours every day, I want to live, and go out and do things that interest me, and learn about who I am, and what I want. Not be thinking about a thesis program and grad schools.

    Have a great rest of your week!
    Sarah

  43. Catalyst was the first of your books that I read, and I definitely related. You had me hooked from the moment I realized that the narrator hadn’t applied to any safety schools, or even any “50/50s” or more than one “reach.” I was more or less frozen in horror. All of a sudden, I was back in high school. Until I read Catalyst, I think I’d pretty much blocked the college admissions process out of my memory. It’s weird, but once you get into one of those “top tier” schools, the whole admission process starts to look really different, because you have an entirely skewed perspective.

    I feel like a lot of high school kids define themselves so much by the college application process, where they get in (or where they don’t), etc, but once you get to school, ANY school, that suddenly doesn’t matter. I mean, honestly, no one at MIT is going to care that you got into MIT. If you’ve been Mr. Early Decision Harvard, or the girl who got into MIT, or whatever at your high school, and before that, you were the girl who stood a pretty good chance at getting into MIT, who are you going to be once you get there? If everything is so geared toward getting into college, then what do you do when you get to college? Apparently, according to the statistics, that’s where this admission process leaves half of the kids who go to college. They got there. They’re there. Now what?

    And then there are the people concentrate on doing whatever they need to do to get into the right law school. Or the right med school. Or the right PhD program. The problem is, if high school is focused on getting into college, and college is focused on getting into law school (or getting a high paying job, etc), then you lose out on actual college, actual high school . I wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything, just because I’ve had four full years without the whole “I need to do this so that I can do this so that I can do this…” I’ve just *done* stuff, and if you can actually remember how to do that by the time you get to college, man does it feel great.

  44. Catalyst was the first of your books that I read, and I definitely related. You had me hooked from the moment I realized that the narrator hadn’t applied to any safety schools, or even any “50/50s” or more than one “reach.” I was more or less frozen in horror. All of a sudden, I was back in high school. Until I read Catalyst, I think I’d pretty much blocked the college admissions process out of my memory. It’s weird, but once you get into one of those “top tier” schools, the whole admission process starts to look really different, because you have an entirely skewed perspective.

    I feel like a lot of high school kids define themselves so much by the college application process, where they get in (or where they don’t), etc, but once you get to school, ANY school, that suddenly doesn’t matter. I mean, honestly, no one at MIT is going to care that you got into MIT. If you’ve been Mr. Early Decision Harvard, or the girl who got into MIT, or whatever at your high school, and before that, you were the girl who stood a pretty good chance at getting into MIT, who are you going to be once you get there? If everything is so geared toward getting into college, then what do you do when you get to college? Apparently, according to the statistics, that’s where this admission process leaves half of the kids who go to college. They got there. They’re there. Now what?

    And then there are the people concentrate on doing whatever they need to do to get into the right law school. Or the right med school. Or the right PhD program. The problem is, if high school is focused on getting into college, and college is focused on getting into law school (or getting a high paying job, etc), then you lose out on actual college, actual high school . I wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything, just because I’ve had four full years without the whole “I need to do this so that I can do this so that I can do this…” I’ve just *done* stuff, and if you can actually remember how to do that by the time you get to college, man does it feel great.

  45. Catalyst was the first of your books that I read, and I definitely related. You had me hooked from the moment I realized that the narrator hadn’t applied to any safety schools, or even any “50/50s” or more than one “reach.” I was more or less frozen in horror. All of a sudden, I was back in high school. Until I read Catalyst, I think I’d pretty much blocked the college admissions process out of my memory. It’s weird, but once you get into one of those “top tier” schools, the whole admission process starts to look really different, because you have an entirely skewed perspective.

    I feel like a lot of high school kids define themselves so much by the college application process, where they get in (or where they don’t), etc, but once you get to school, ANY school, that suddenly doesn’t matter. I mean, honestly, no one at MIT is going to care that you got into MIT. If you’ve been Mr. Early Decision Harvard, or the girl who got into MIT, or whatever at your high school, and before that, you were the girl who stood a pretty good chance at getting into MIT, who are you going to be once you get there? If everything is so geared toward getting into college, then what do you do when you get to college? Apparently, according to the statistics, that’s where this admission process leaves half of the kids who go to college. They got there. They’re there. Now what?

    And then there are the people concentrate on doing whatever they need to do to get into the right law school. Or the right med school. Or the right PhD program. The problem is, if high school is focused on getting into college, and college is focused on getting into law school (or getting a high paying job, etc), then you lose out on actual college, actual high school . I wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything, just because I’ve had four full years without the whole “I need to do this so that I can do this so that I can do this…” I’ve just *done* stuff, and if you can actually remember how to do that by the time you get to college, man does it feel great.

  46. Well, it has to be the larger trend. If my parents had insisted, I would have been upset, but if they had made it clear they weren’t paying for college unless I took at least a year off, I probably would have complied.

    You could get rid of most guidance counselors, for a start. I think also if more people were honest about their education history it would help.

    It would have to be part of a larger trend. I think the current college situation is going to collapse in 10-15 years, so maybe that can change then too.

  47. Well, it has to be the larger trend. If my parents had insisted, I would have been upset, but if they had made it clear they weren’t paying for college unless I took at least a year off, I probably would have complied.

    You could get rid of most guidance counselors, for a start. I think also if more people were honest about their education history it would help.

    It would have to be part of a larger trend. I think the current college situation is going to collapse in 10-15 years, so maybe that can change then too.

  48. Making it Count

    I agree, whole-heartedly. My husband is a speaker fro making it Count (run by Monster.com) and goes to high schools to talk to the students about what they need to be successful in college. It’s one of his soap-box issues.

  49. Making it Count

    I agree, whole-heartedly. My husband is a speaker fro making it Count (run by Monster.com) and goes to high schools to talk to the students about what they need to be successful in college. It’s one of his soap-box issues.

  50. Making it Count

    I agree, whole-heartedly. My husband is a speaker fro making it Count (run by Monster.com) and goes to high schools to talk to the students about what they need to be successful in college. It’s one of his soap-box issues.

  51. I want to teach kindergarten but I can’t afford all of that schooling and its not fair. I can guarentee 97% that I will never need chemistry or Calculas, yet they want me to take these classes that I still can’t afford and could care less about. I mean if I was going to be an archetect then yes LOTS of math, but come on!

  52. I want to teach kindergarten but I can’t afford all of that schooling and its not fair. I can guarentee 97% that I will never need chemistry or Calculas, yet they want me to take these classes that I still can’t afford and could care less about. I mean if I was going to be an archetect then yes LOTS of math, but come on!

  53. Amen. It would be nice if people could get it through their heads that the best school in the country is not always the best school for a given student. In my experience, at least, students are pressured to go to the highest-ranked school they can get admitted to, and to hell with the rest. Kids in my high school who got into Harvard – they weren’t asked where they were going to go once they had been admitted. It was assumed that was where they were going. One girl I knew was thinking about going somewhere else, because she wasn’t sure if Harvard was right for her; people treated her like she was crazy for even considering turning them down.

    It would be neat if we could broaden our standards of what a “good school” is. Right now the priority is getting students into schools that are ranked high in the U.S. News and World Report. Those schools are often not terribly nurturing schools, and they may not have good programs in all areas, and, well, assuming that every individual student who is smart enough to get into an Ivy League therefore ought to go there is bull.

    /preaching to the choir

  54. Amen. It would be nice if people could get it through their heads that the best school in the country is not always the best school for a given student. In my experience, at least, students are pressured to go to the highest-ranked school they can get admitted to, and to hell with the rest. Kids in my high school who got into Harvard – they weren’t asked where they were going to go once they had been admitted. It was assumed that was where they were going. One girl I knew was thinking about going somewhere else, because she wasn’t sure if Harvard was right for her; people treated her like she was crazy for even considering turning them down.

    It would be neat if we could broaden our standards of what a “good school” is. Right now the priority is getting students into schools that are ranked high in the U.S. News and World Report. Those schools are often not terribly nurturing schools, and they may not have good programs in all areas, and, well, assuming that every individual student who is smart enough to get into an Ivy League therefore ought to go there is bull.

    /preaching to the choir

    1. Along these lines–I went to an Ivy League as an undergrad, and while I didn’t drop out or burn out or anything terribly awful, I’m not sure it was the best school for me. I definitely thrived in graduate school, where the classess were smaller and there was more professor-student interaction. It makes me wonder if I would have been better off at a smaller college than at the large, relatively impersonal *names omitted to protect the innocent* university I attended.

      I have fond memories of my college years, and I can see the ways in which those years made me who I am today–but I will always wonder.

      I think the biggest thing that college does for people these days is make things a little bit easier in the workforce. Not a lot, mind you–but my brother never finished his degree, and he has had to work twice as hard to get where he is. Without that degree, he has had to prove himself “worthy” to the nameless hiring bodies of the world. A degree seems to confer an aura of responsibility–deserved or not.

  55. Amen. It would be nice if people could get it through their heads that the best school in the country is not always the best school for a given student. In my experience, at least, students are pressured to go to the highest-ranked school they can get admitted to, and to hell with the rest. Kids in my high school who got into Harvard – they weren’t asked where they were going to go once they had been admitted. It was assumed that was where they were going. One girl I knew was thinking about going somewhere else, because she wasn’t sure if Harvard was right for her; people treated her like she was crazy for even considering turning them down.

    It would be neat if we could broaden our standards of what a “good school” is. Right now the priority is getting students into schools that are ranked high in the U.S. News and World Report. Those schools are often not terribly nurturing schools, and they may not have good programs in all areas, and, well, assuming that every individual student who is smart enough to get into an Ivy League therefore ought to go there is bull.

    /preaching to the choir

  56. As a college student, i find it hard to justify the cost of college: college is supposed to help me get ahead in life, but college debt seems instead to put me behind. Incidentally, my college tuition is rising at such a rate that it will double every decade. But there’s probably no changing that.

    Probably the only reason i’m still in college is that i was reassured by roughly ten billion adults that college was worthwhile, and dropping out would be a Bad Idea. By now i’m just preaching the choir, but i think kids need more reassurance about the value of college. (Which is of course the point of your essay; bravo ^_^)

  57. As a college student, i find it hard to justify the cost of college: college is supposed to help me get ahead in life, but college debt seems instead to put me behind. Incidentally, my college tuition is rising at such a rate that it will double every decade. But there’s probably no changing that.

    Probably the only reason i’m still in college is that i was reassured by roughly ten billion adults that college was worthwhile, and dropping out would be a Bad Idea. By now i’m just preaching the choir, but i think kids need more reassurance about the value of college. (Which is of course the point of your essay; bravo ^_^)

  58. As a college student, i find it hard to justify the cost of college: college is supposed to help me get ahead in life, but college debt seems instead to put me behind. Incidentally, my college tuition is rising at such a rate that it will double every decade. But there’s probably no changing that.

    Probably the only reason i’m still in college is that i was reassured by roughly ten billion adults that college was worthwhile, and dropping out would be a Bad Idea. By now i’m just preaching the choir, but i think kids need more reassurance about the value of college. (Which is of course the point of your essay; bravo ^_^)

  59. Along these lines–I went to an Ivy League as an undergrad, and while I didn’t drop out or burn out or anything terribly awful, I’m not sure it was the best school for me. I definitely thrived in graduate school, where the classess were smaller and there was more professor-student interaction. It makes me wonder if I would have been better off at a smaller college than at the large, relatively impersonal *names omitted to protect the innocent* university I attended.

    I have fond memories of my college years, and I can see the ways in which those years made me who I am today–but I will always wonder.

    I think the biggest thing that college does for people these days is make things a little bit easier in the workforce. Not a lot, mind you–but my brother never finished his degree, and he has had to work twice as hard to get where he is. Without that degree, he has had to prove himself “worthy” to the nameless hiring bodies of the world. A degree seems to confer an aura of responsibility–deserved or not.

  60. Along these lines–I went to an Ivy League as an undergrad, and while I didn’t drop out or burn out or anything terribly awful, I’m not sure it was the best school for me. I definitely thrived in graduate school, where the classess were smaller and there was more professor-student interaction. It makes me wonder if I would have been better off at a smaller college than at the large, relatively impersonal *names omitted to protect the innocent* university I attended.

    I have fond memories of my college years, and I can see the ways in which those years made me who I am today–but I will always wonder.

    I think the biggest thing that college does for people these days is make things a little bit easier in the workforce. Not a lot, mind you–but my brother never finished his degree, and he has had to work twice as hard to get where he is. Without that degree, he has had to prove himself “worthy” to the nameless hiring bodies of the world. A degree seems to confer an aura of responsibility–deserved or not.

  61. I reread that essay of yours recently. I love it. 😀

    I think – and this is a general statement that applies to where I am, in Ireland, and the UK, as well as the US – that there really is too much energy focussed on Getting Into College. On always looking ahead, and planning, and on doing things as quickly as possible and not “wasting” any time trying out new things or taking a year out or whatever.

  62. I reread that essay of yours recently. I love it. 😀

    I think – and this is a general statement that applies to where I am, in Ireland, and the UK, as well as the US – that there really is too much energy focussed on Getting Into College. On always looking ahead, and planning, and on doing things as quickly as possible and not “wasting” any time trying out new things or taking a year out or whatever.

  63. I reread that essay of yours recently. I love it. 😀

    I think – and this is a general statement that applies to where I am, in Ireland, and the UK, as well as the US – that there really is too much energy focussed on Getting Into College. On always looking ahead, and planning, and on doing things as quickly as possible and not “wasting” any time trying out new things or taking a year out or whatever.

  64. answer to the unfair question..

    What would I have said to my parents?

    I would have asked them why they said then and they probably really thought about it. Granted I’m loving college and my friends and stuff but I think I could have used it. I am a year behind age wise, so it might be nice to finally not be known as the young one. On the other hand, I’m not sure what I would have done for a year. It would be awesome to have gone to Greece or Turkey, but I think it would be tough. For awhile I was thinking of working in California for a year so I could get state tutiton, but that went away with their lack of majors.

    Anyway. Have an awesome week. SEE YOU IN 5 DAYS!

  65. answer to the unfair question..

    What would I have said to my parents?

    I would have asked them why they said then and they probably really thought about it. Granted I’m loving college and my friends and stuff but I think I could have used it. I am a year behind age wise, so it might be nice to finally not be known as the young one. On the other hand, I’m not sure what I would have done for a year. It would be awesome to have gone to Greece or Turkey, but I think it would be tough. For awhile I was thinking of working in California for a year so I could get state tutiton, but that went away with their lack of majors.

    Anyway. Have an awesome week. SEE YOU IN 5 DAYS!

  66. What years’ grades do colleges look at???

    Freshman, sophmore, junior, senior?

    Im a Junioor and my Fresh year i got a few D’s and not enough nice grades…since schools are so competitive now, will i still have a chance if i pull my grades…up?

  67. What years’ grades do colleges look at???

    Freshman, sophmore, junior, senior?

    Im a Junioor and my Fresh year i got a few D’s and not enough nice grades…since schools are so competitive now, will i still have a chance if i pull my grades…up?

    1. It’s been a while, but as i recall: colleges look at grades from all years. However, Freshman grades are least important to colleges, and colleges will probably not be too concerned about a few Freshman D’s, because the transition to high school can be tough. The most recent grades (Junior/Senior year) are the ones colleges are most concerned about.

      Hope that helps

  68. What years’ grades do colleges look at???

    Freshman, sophmore, junior, senior?

    Im a Junioor and my Fresh year i got a few D’s and not enough nice grades…since schools are so competitive now, will i still have a chance if i pull my grades…up?

  69. Hi Laurie, It’s Sarah Blumberg!

    Hi Laurie,
    This is Sarah Blumberg, Judy Blumberg’s oldest daughter. How are you?! Crazy how you once babysat for my sisters and I and now you are a famous author and I can say I know you!! How cool is that!? I’m a senior at Lesley University in Cambridge ma, and am doing really well. My mom told me you and she got in touch during her children’s literature class she was taking as part of her ESL training. I’m doing a minor in education and majoring in human development and family studies. I hope to teach in a Jewish day School at first, and then eventually in the public school system in Boston.
    When my mom told me that she was able to get in touch with you and told me of your success, I was soo excited. I am also taking a children’s lit class, and some of the students were looking at your book Prom the other day in class.
    Anyway before i ramble on too much, i wanted to write and say hi in hopes that this gets to you. I”m not a crazy fan, just someone that knows you and has a really cool claim to faim with an incredible author! Congratulations on your successes and may you continue to have many more!

    My e-mail address is bostongirl05@yahoo.com.
    If you have a free moment, and check this, it would be a wonderful honor to hear from you. Be well and take care. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    all the best,
    Sarah B. 🙂

  70. Hi Laurie, It’s Sarah Blumberg!

    Hi Laurie,
    This is Sarah Blumberg, Judy Blumberg’s oldest daughter. How are you?! Crazy how you once babysat for my sisters and I and now you are a famous author and I can say I know you!! How cool is that!? I’m a senior at Lesley University in Cambridge ma, and am doing really well. My mom told me you and she got in touch during her children’s literature class she was taking as part of her ESL training. I’m doing a minor in education and majoring in human development and family studies. I hope to teach in a Jewish day School at first, and then eventually in the public school system in Boston.
    When my mom told me that she was able to get in touch with you and told me of your success, I was soo excited. I am also taking a children’s lit class, and some of the students were looking at your book Prom the other day in class.
    Anyway before i ramble on too much, i wanted to write and say hi in hopes that this gets to you. I”m not a crazy fan, just someone that knows you and has a really cool claim to faim with an incredible author! Congratulations on your successes and may you continue to have many more!

    My e-mail address is bostongirl05@yahoo.com.
    If you have a free moment, and check this, it would be a wonderful honor to hear from you. Be well and take care. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    all the best,
    Sarah B. 🙂

  71. Hi Laurie, It’s Sarah Blumberg!

    Hi Laurie,
    This is Sarah Blumberg, Judy Blumberg’s oldest daughter. How are you?! Crazy how you once babysat for my sisters and I and now you are a famous author and I can say I know you!! How cool is that!? I’m a senior at Lesley University in Cambridge ma, and am doing really well. My mom told me you and she got in touch during her children’s literature class she was taking as part of her ESL training. I’m doing a minor in education and majoring in human development and family studies. I hope to teach in a Jewish day School at first, and then eventually in the public school system in Boston.
    When my mom told me that she was able to get in touch with you and told me of your success, I was soo excited. I am also taking a children’s lit class, and some of the students were looking at your book Prom the other day in class.
    Anyway before i ramble on too much, i wanted to write and say hi in hopes that this gets to you. I”m not a crazy fan, just someone that knows you and has a really cool claim to faim with an incredible author! Congratulations on your successes and may you continue to have many more!

    My e-mail address is bostongirl05@yahoo.com.
    If you have a free moment, and check this, it would be a wonderful honor to hear from you. Be well and take care. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    all the best,
    Sarah B. 🙂

  72. i’m a friend of one of your girls, found your journal randomly and decided i wanted to reply to this comment because it hits home for me.

    when i went to high school (grad 2003) i bucked the system and decided early in my senior year that i wasn’t interested in following the well-beaten path. i drew and painted for myself, even though i was taking the AP portfolio class. i just wasn’t interested in going directly from high school into the college world. a week after i graduated, i moved very, very, very far away from home and learned how to live without depending on my mum and dad for support. i’m getting there, slowly, i’m learning to exist independently. next year i’ll be submitting my portfolio to go to art school. i feel i’m ready to do that now, with the knowledge of how to survive in the outside world. i think that is a kind of education that you can’t get just by following what everyone else tells you to do.

    with that said, i can answer your question, at least from my perspective.

    except for the kids who are ambitious enough to get a masters/doctorate or graduate at the top of their class, very few kids who go to college are going to give 110%. they already gave that much in high school just to get into college. now that they’re in, they don’t want to worry so much about something that, in the end, was very meaningless.

    what the colleges need to do is go beyond the ‘transition’ programs, and offer some real information on how to exist in this world. they need to offer classes that will teach the kids getting in that life isn’t all about going to parties and barely eeking through their midterms. there are no midterms when you’re working a 9-5. there are no midterms when you have to decide between paying for car insurance and paying a hospital bill. there are definitely no midterms when your job was just lost in a company outsourcing. these are all real-life ordeals that people with degrees are going through right now. the colleges need to educate kids on how to live their lives outside of the academic ‘warm and fuzzy’ world. kids are seeing that the economy sucks. kids are watching their parents lose their jobs to workers in other countries. kids are watching their opportunities disintegrate, while their college loan gets more and more expensive. they’re thinking- why even bother, when i’m going to graduate with a degree that’s meaningless. why should i bother when i’m just another cog in this world that’s falling apart in front of me?

    it seems nihilistic. but we should treat this as more of an existential conundrum. if they’re believing that everything is meaningless, these kids desperately need to create meaning out of their lives. unfortunately, the modern corporate college environment isn’t exactly nurturing that seed of finding deep meaning in its students life. this is why i say that it’s an effort that needs to be expounded upon by everyone involved.

    kids need to wake up and realize that even though they are just cogs, they must find meaning in their lives so they can get by day to day. instead of ‘giving in’ and resigning themselves to mediocrity, they all need to find their special niche and work with it.

    parents need to teach their kids that even in the hardest of times, their lives are important and special.

    colleges need to teach their kids that they aren’t just numbers (even though they essentially are, nowadays.) the colleges have to rely less on gaining corporate sponsorship, and focus more on helping each individual student become more well-rounded. this includes teaching the kids about the ‘real world’ while still providing them with the essential skills needed for their majors. if a student learns that their college does actually care about their well-being, they will be much less likely to drop out after a year or two.

    i’m sorry for how disjointed this all sounds, i’ve been surrounded by crazy paint fumes all day.

  73. i’m a friend of one of your girls, found your journal randomly and decided i wanted to reply to this comment because it hits home for me.

    when i went to high school (grad 2003) i bucked the system and decided early in my senior year that i wasn’t interested in following the well-beaten path. i drew and painted for myself, even though i was taking the AP portfolio class. i just wasn’t interested in going directly from high school into the college world. a week after i graduated, i moved very, very, very far away from home and learned how to live without depending on my mum and dad for support. i’m getting there, slowly, i’m learning to exist independently. next year i’ll be submitting my portfolio to go to art school. i feel i’m ready to do that now, with the knowledge of how to survive in the outside world. i think that is a kind of education that you can’t get just by following what everyone else tells you to do.

    with that said, i can answer your question, at least from my perspective.

    except for the kids who are ambitious enough to get a masters/doctorate or graduate at the top of their class, very few kids who go to college are going to give 110%. they already gave that much in high school just to get into college. now that they’re in, they don’t want to worry so much about something that, in the end, was very meaningless.

    what the colleges need to do is go beyond the ‘transition’ programs, and offer some real information on how to exist in this world. they need to offer classes that will teach the kids getting in that life isn’t all about going to parties and barely eeking through their midterms. there are no midterms when you’re working a 9-5. there are no midterms when you have to decide between paying for car insurance and paying a hospital bill. there are definitely no midterms when your job was just lost in a company outsourcing. these are all real-life ordeals that people with degrees are going through right now. the colleges need to educate kids on how to live their lives outside of the academic ‘warm and fuzzy’ world. kids are seeing that the economy sucks. kids are watching their parents lose their jobs to workers in other countries. kids are watching their opportunities disintegrate, while their college loan gets more and more expensive. they’re thinking- why even bother, when i’m going to graduate with a degree that’s meaningless. why should i bother when i’m just another cog in this world that’s falling apart in front of me?

    it seems nihilistic. but we should treat this as more of an existential conundrum. if they’re believing that everything is meaningless, these kids desperately need to create meaning out of their lives. unfortunately, the modern corporate college environment isn’t exactly nurturing that seed of finding deep meaning in its students life. this is why i say that it’s an effort that needs to be expounded upon by everyone involved.

    kids need to wake up and realize that even though they are just cogs, they must find meaning in their lives so they can get by day to day. instead of ‘giving in’ and resigning themselves to mediocrity, they all need to find their special niche and work with it.

    parents need to teach their kids that even in the hardest of times, their lives are important and special.

    colleges need to teach their kids that they aren’t just numbers (even though they essentially are, nowadays.) the colleges have to rely less on gaining corporate sponsorship, and focus more on helping each individual student become more well-rounded. this includes teaching the kids about the ‘real world’ while still providing them with the essential skills needed for their majors. if a student learns that their college does actually care about their well-being, they will be much less likely to drop out after a year or two.

    i’m sorry for how disjointed this all sounds, i’ve been surrounded by crazy paint fumes all day.

  74. i’m a friend of one of your girls, found your journal randomly and decided i wanted to reply to this comment because it hits home for me.

    when i went to high school (grad 2003) i bucked the system and decided early in my senior year that i wasn’t interested in following the well-beaten path. i drew and painted for myself, even though i was taking the AP portfolio class. i just wasn’t interested in going directly from high school into the college world. a week after i graduated, i moved very, very, very far away from home and learned how to live without depending on my mum and dad for support. i’m getting there, slowly, i’m learning to exist independently. next year i’ll be submitting my portfolio to go to art school. i feel i’m ready to do that now, with the knowledge of how to survive in the outside world. i think that is a kind of education that you can’t get just by following what everyone else tells you to do.

    with that said, i can answer your question, at least from my perspective.

    except for the kids who are ambitious enough to get a masters/doctorate or graduate at the top of their class, very few kids who go to college are going to give 110%. they already gave that much in high school just to get into college. now that they’re in, they don’t want to worry so much about something that, in the end, was very meaningless.

    what the colleges need to do is go beyond the ‘transition’ programs, and offer some real information on how to exist in this world. they need to offer classes that will teach the kids getting in that life isn’t all about going to parties and barely eeking through their midterms. there are no midterms when you’re working a 9-5. there are no midterms when you have to decide between paying for car insurance and paying a hospital bill. there are definitely no midterms when your job was just lost in a company outsourcing. these are all real-life ordeals that people with degrees are going through right now. the colleges need to educate kids on how to live their lives outside of the academic ‘warm and fuzzy’ world. kids are seeing that the economy sucks. kids are watching their parents lose their jobs to workers in other countries. kids are watching their opportunities disintegrate, while their college loan gets more and more expensive. they’re thinking- why even bother, when i’m going to graduate with a degree that’s meaningless. why should i bother when i’m just another cog in this world that’s falling apart in front of me?

    it seems nihilistic. but we should treat this as more of an existential conundrum. if they’re believing that everything is meaningless, these kids desperately need to create meaning out of their lives. unfortunately, the modern corporate college environment isn’t exactly nurturing that seed of finding deep meaning in its students life. this is why i say that it’s an effort that needs to be expounded upon by everyone involved.

    kids need to wake up and realize that even though they are just cogs, they must find meaning in their lives so they can get by day to day. instead of ‘giving in’ and resigning themselves to mediocrity, they all need to find their special niche and work with it.

    parents need to teach their kids that even in the hardest of times, their lives are important and special.

    colleges need to teach their kids that they aren’t just numbers (even though they essentially are, nowadays.) the colleges have to rely less on gaining corporate sponsorship, and focus more on helping each individual student become more well-rounded. this includes teaching the kids about the ‘real world’ while still providing them with the essential skills needed for their majors. if a student learns that their college does actually care about their well-being, they will be much less likely to drop out after a year or two.

    i’m sorry for how disjointed this all sounds, i’ve been surrounded by crazy paint fumes all day.

  75. It’s been a while, but as i recall: colleges look at grades from all years. However, Freshman grades are least important to colleges, and colleges will probably not be too concerned about a few Freshman D’s, because the transition to high school can be tough. The most recent grades (Junior/Senior year) are the ones colleges are most concerned about.

    Hope that helps

  76. It’s been a while, but as i recall: colleges look at grades from all years. However, Freshman grades are least important to colleges, and colleges will probably not be too concerned about a few Freshman D’s, because the transition to high school can be tough. The most recent grades (Junior/Senior year) are the ones colleges are most concerned about.

    Hope that helps

  77. Hello Mrs. Anderson, this is Jackie B! Stef’s friend from high school if you didn’t remember…
    Anyway, I was reading your post and wanted to rant a little. I too am about to drop out of college. I was in all AP classes in high school, worked very hard the first two semesters away at school, and then… POOF. I realized I was in the completely wrong school and had spent years and years of my life leading up to this horrible conclusion. Then, since I was in art school no other universities would take me as a transfer student, so I had to go to Montco, and now have to go through the whole process of applying to colleges ALL OVER AGAIN FOR A THIRD TIME. And I am through. SICK OF IT. If only I had gone to the right college the first time…? Many of us are not that lucky. Any advice?
    I MISS YOU!!! Tell Scott I said HELLOOOO!!!

  78. Hello Mrs. Anderson, this is Jackie B! Stef’s friend from high school if you didn’t remember…
    Anyway, I was reading your post and wanted to rant a little. I too am about to drop out of college. I was in all AP classes in high school, worked very hard the first two semesters away at school, and then… POOF. I realized I was in the completely wrong school and had spent years and years of my life leading up to this horrible conclusion. Then, since I was in art school no other universities would take me as a transfer student, so I had to go to Montco, and now have to go through the whole process of applying to colleges ALL OVER AGAIN FOR A THIRD TIME. And I am through. SICK OF IT. If only I had gone to the right college the first time…? Many of us are not that lucky. Any advice?
    I MISS YOU!!! Tell Scott I said HELLOOOO!!!

  79. Hello Mrs. Anderson, this is Jackie B! Stef’s friend from high school if you didn’t remember…
    Anyway, I was reading your post and wanted to rant a little. I too am about to drop out of college. I was in all AP classes in high school, worked very hard the first two semesters away at school, and then… POOF. I realized I was in the completely wrong school and had spent years and years of my life leading up to this horrible conclusion. Then, since I was in art school no other universities would take me as a transfer student, so I had to go to Montco, and now have to go through the whole process of applying to colleges ALL OVER AGAIN FOR A THIRD TIME. And I am through. SICK OF IT. If only I had gone to the right college the first time…? Many of us are not that lucky. Any advice?
    I MISS YOU!!! Tell Scott I said HELLOOOO!!!

  80. depressing

    your books are depressing
    depressing
    you are depressing
    depressing
    I am depressed
    depressing
    now I take depression pills
    depressing

  81. depressing

    your books are depressing
    depressing
    you are depressing
    depressing
    I am depressed
    depressing
    now I take depression pills
    depressing

  82. depressing

    your books are depressing
    depressing
    you are depressing
    depressing
    I am depressed
    depressing
    now I take depression pills
    depressing

  83. I read your college essay that you wrote and I just have to say I don’t believe in that. I have an older brother going to a good college for one of the harder courses that the college offers, and he says that college is by far easier and better then high school.

    Sorry for the rant.

  84. I read your college essay that you wrote and I just have to say I don’t believe in that. I have an older brother going to a good college for one of the harder courses that the college offers, and he says that college is by far easier and better then high school.

    Sorry for the rant.

  85. I read your college essay that you wrote and I just have to say I don’t believe in that. I have an older brother going to a good college for one of the harder courses that the college offers, and he says that college is by far easier and better then high school.

    Sorry for the rant.

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