Overheard on various college tours:
1. "We had to find an independent college counselor because ours has never heard of Gallatin and thought that Amherst is test optional."
2. "We know a family that sought out a SAT tutor who was also a tennis pro, so their son could practice vocab while on the court ($1000 a session)."
3. Hottest safety: Northeastern – Their co-op program ensures you'll actually get a cool job. Only problem is that it's not a safety anymore.
4. Hottest new career aspiration: "My older child is working for a fully-funded start-up, but I don't really understand what they do."
5. Top new admissions theory: "This will be the easiest year for full-pay kids."
6. Crescendo-ing neurosis: "Darn…My child doesn't have a chance of getting a job with a liberal arts degree and she wants to study Classics at Princeton." (But poetry awards while still in high school are acceptable, especially if the poetry is about Quantum Physics.)
7. Hottest after-hours locale for touring west coast high schoolers: Bushwick
8. Hottest new extracurricular, the ultimate for resume padding: TedXYouth
9. "I think my daughter is the only one in her senior class who is not blogging for the Huffington Post.""My son is the only junior we know whose chorus has not performed in Latvia."
10. "I interview for Brown; I feel bad about myself because my own resume at age 52 is nothing compared to the resumes of the kids I evaluate."
So, parents, if we haven't given Ted Talks or performed in Latvia by the time we're 50, it's time to admit we're failures. Instead we can now listen to the wisdom of our nation's 17-year olds, who of course, are sharing their expertise for the good of the world, not so they can get into college.