Under the Button is part of a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Hindsight Is 20/20, College Admissions Schadenfreude Is Like X-Ray Vision

I came to Penn from a high school in New York called Fieldston.  It was a little bit like Gossip Girl, but coed, and a greater proportion of the student body was stoned. College admissions was basically our religion from sophomore year on.  By second semester of junior year, SATs and applications replaced the weather as the default small talk topic. One of my friends used to have panic attacks because she thought that Emma Watson was applying to Middlebury, thus leaving her with zero chance of being accepted. (She is currently at Wesleyan and couldn't be happier.) While most people found watching the entire grade apply to the same 12 schools nerve-wracking, I saw it for what it truly was: thoroughly entertaining.

So imagine my delight when I discovered College Confidential, a site best known for its discussion boards and the stressed out 17-year-olds that haunt them. The posts range from questions about the quality of schools to personal stories about the admissions process.

My personal favorite posts are the "Chance Me for…" threads. In these grand displays of high self-esteem, kids post their credentials and then wait for others to tell them how talented they are. One poster even asked if taking a language 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th grade gave him a better chance of getting into Harvard than if he took that same language in 8th, 9th, and 10th grade and then skipped it for a year to finish his four years in senior year. Really?

Searching the discussion board, I also found that there is a section for parents. My personal favorite post was a parent who believed her child was "merely average." Have a gander:

Is anyone else here realizing that their child is merely average? My d[aughter], and I do not want to sound overly negative here just realistic, although a kind soul and a caring person, is utterly average. She has no passionate interests, making the essays difficult--no varsity swim team for four years, no musical instrument, no work experience--and is an average athlete. Her essays were quite literal and middle of the road. Testwise, she took a prep class and pulled up her SAT score 100 pts to a laughable 1830. Her current senior yr includes 3 AP classes and she is pulling her weight in them which is astonishing.

…Does anyone else have a child who turned out sort of dumb?

Ok, we're not sure that's real, but if it is, that lady should look out for an induction into the Alec Baldwin Parenting Hall of Fame.  Plus, if said mother had ever read "Stuff White People Like" she would know that no child is average. (See "Gifted" Children.)

PennConnects