BH has completed his sophomore year. He doesn't seem that different now that he's officially almost a junior. But I have noticed a significant change in the level of neuroses of the parents in his grade. Just three short weeks ago, everyone was worried about driving after curfew, and whether the kids were attending parties without supervision.
Now, the parents in the grade have suddenly become obsessed with SATs vs ACTs, subject test schedules, honors classes and choosing extracurriculars that don't seem as if their kids are too privileged.
Because I have received desperate emails and invitations for coffee, can I already tell that the parents in this grade will experience more stress than the parents in CJ's grade. I remind everyone that I am a comedy blogger and not a college counselor, but that hasn't stopped them seeking my advice, in what seems to be a collective nervous breakdown. Here are the reasons:
- This year's graduating class had a mass panic attack about standardized test scores
- There are several straight A Hispanic students to compete with
- Certain top colleges "dissed" our school, admitting nobody, even those who were well qualified
- Most of the "likelies," once known as "safeties," are now considered "matches," by the college counselors.
- Many of the "longshots," previously known as "reaches," have been reclassified as "impossibles." For example, for the class of 2006, Brown was a reach for anyone. By 2009, it was a longshot. And now, when anyone discusses Brown, it is considered an "impossible." That makes a school like Cornell a longshot, and Berkeley and Michigan a reach. And Skidmore, once a "likely" for many kids, has become a match. And so on.
- Nobody can get a job no matter which school they attend or what they major in. Although many find this trend upsetting, it can actually be comforting to those who are concerned about where their kid will be accepted. At the end of the day, all of our kids will soon be competing for a handful of Teach for America jobs.