It’s not your school–It’s your kid’s

After reading a short article written last week by my distinguished associate, Michele Hernandez, I was inspired to write this article not for students, but for their worrisome, naive and micromanaging parents. Yes ma’am, we’re going there.

So you want your child to go to Yale, huh? It’s such a famous school, after all. & imagine just how good you’ll look when telling everyone in the government office where you work about your brilliant kid. All your kid has to do is get at least a 2200 on the SAT, a 110 on TOEFL, and they’re in, right? Right?

Well here’s what I’ve got to say to you, missy: quit screwing with your kid’s life! Choosing where to spend four years of one’s life is a huge, HUGE decision that should be based entirely on the student’s probability for a happy, successful life over that time. The difference between UCLA, Carnegie Mellon and Michigan may not seem like much to you, but it’ll make a world of difference for your kid.

But that’s starting at the problem’s solution. Think of all the stress you’re causing your daughter in the months leading up to her application submission. She must get perfect SAT scores. She must get a perfect TOEFL. She  must have perfect extra-curricular’s. I mean, I know all Chinese students love to work, but this doesn’t have to be a pressure cooker. And that’s exactly what it’ll be if you demand that your kid ONLY attend an Ivy League university.

As Ms. Hernandez said, “our goal is to push kids to reach their potential, but we can’t create an award-winning talent.” If your son is a Senior III and hasn’t proven himself to be in the top 2-3% of all students in China, then let’s be honest, he’s not going to Harvard, no matter how hard you push him. But he can still get a world-class education at Berkeley, or Notre Dame, or UNC! And if he gets a 4.0 GPA there, I mean c’mon…he can still get that cherished job at Goldman Sachs, and your retirement is secured.

Trust me on this one. Your kid has to grow up sometime. Let him.

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