There are a lot of things you learn as the parent of a high school senior. Mostly you learn just how stupid you are, but that’s been building in varying degrees since the kid developed cognitive reasoning skills, right? Nothing, though, shows exactly how dumb you probably are quite like your child deciding to go to college. Who knew it requires a college degree just to fill out the college application?
(This is where I start sounding like my dad.) “Back in my day…” it wasn’t this complicated to apply for college. I filled out a paper form front and back in ink, then stapled a piece of notebook paper to it where I’d answered some random essay question. It was probably the same question that every Miss America winner answered for the past 40 years, and it required saying something about world peace, saving pandas, and the importance of dietary fiber.
Now you have to write seven short novelettes that deeply explore the workings of your subconscious mind, prove that you’ve mastered Chinese algebra, and demonstrate your capabilities for leading a Marine combat unit. Oh, and they must be written in the ancient Aramaic language and professionally bound and published.
Don’t wait until the last minute to start this process either. If your child is past the third grade, you’re behind. By that point, you need to be pushing little Johnny into professional sports and performance art. If your child has not solved the world’s dependence on fossil fuels by age 8, just know you’re in the college application loser pile. It’s not really an “early acceptance letter” unless the student receives it before the start of middle school. Naturally, your student has to have a 28.9 GPA on a 4.0 scale and be ranked in the top 0.00094 percentile of their graduating class. Never be afraid to administer some Tonya Harding tactics to move into medal contention if there’s ever any doubt. Then follow up with written recommendations from Gandhi, newly sainted Mother Teresa, and Harambe the Gorilla.
If I had to apply for college now with the way I looked when I graduated from high school then, I’m not even sure I would be accepted at Tulsa Typing School or the Iowa College for Deaf Musicians. Let’s hope getting through college these days isn’t nearly as hard as just getting in.
(photo credit: explodingDog)