"One must not be negligent in learning. In the Lun Yu (Analects of Confucius), it says: 'To study without thinking is darkness. To think without study is dangerous'." Takeda Nobushige, a Japanese general who relinquished to his brother his right to be a Takeda Daimyo
Most teens want to be "successful" in some way. They don't want to be "losers!" However, their idea of "success" and "failure" may be nascent, limited, or faulty. In the meantime, if they think adults are rejected by their peers, they will reject sound advice and opportunities for what they misconceive as better advice from their peers and own role models.
Aside from the complex or complicated goals of trying to get popularity or a particular intimate teen relationship which rarely lasts, the more successful and meaningful goal for many teenage students is to graduate from high school and get into college. However, they may aim for a college according to their mistaken concept of happiness and success.
The vast majority of students follow a simple plan up one educational mountain to get to the next educational mountain, but somehow they assume that if they just follow the advice of their teachers, their guidance counselor, their friends, and/or their parents, they will attain success. This perspective is unfortunately too simplistic. It doesn't take into account that college admissions offices make the rules for getting into college. Unfortunately, too many students, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors assume but don't study what colleges really want. Thus, they don't create the right fit.
Many college freshmen thus find themselves in a college that is not best for them. They either suffer with it, transfer, or drop out. If they had not studied colleges correctly, then it follows that they also lack the pactice to figure out the best major for them. Because American college education is expensive, those assumptions and mistakes are extremely costly.
"This is the real danger that I see, especially in our younger people in the teens and in the twenties and thirties... They are apt to turn to a truly selfish and private life... just simply getting the best they can out of life for themselves selfishly and without too much regard for other people, squeezing out as much fun as possible before they get killed and before the world ends." From Maslow on Management, by Abraham Maslow, former President of the American Psychology Association
The Stress of College Applications
When it comes to filling the applications, it is often a bit too late for quality during senior year. Students need to carefully prepare many years in advance for applications for college admission. The most important things to place on an application require years of preparation, and most students do not have the time to even fill out their college applications well.
Guidance Counseling That's where the guidance counselor comes in handy, correct? That is an assumption which must be corrected by seeing things from someone else's shoes: the shoes of guidance counselors and administrators. In a public high school, guidance counselors are assigned hundreds of students. They generally don't have time to read essays, know a student's strengths or weaknesses, or keep track of a student's changing interests. They are typically expected to get as many number of students into college but don't have time to ensure that they are the best matches. After all, public school administrations rarely care if a particular student gets the right college match for them, for the administrators must keep analyzing the overall student body, and they rarely hear back from graduates.
Extracurricular Activities Most students and parents don't realize that applications for college admission and scholarships are about far more than just grades and test scores. Even when they realize that extracurricular activities are important, they misunderstand how one type of involvement is significant versus another that isn't considered important. Thus, they often waste considerable time and money on extracurricular activities that a student doesn't enjoy, and they pick an activity and role that doesn't mean much to admissions officers. This does not mean that one should only choose involvement based upon what a certain college seems to think. However, it is important to consider how colleges see what fits with them.
Essays Even the most prolific of students tend to become overwhelmed in their senior year of high school by the sheer number of essays that they have to write for their applications. An individual student may face writing anywhere between 2 to 20 essays for college admissions with drafts all along the way.
Another problem is that their teachers rarely ask them to ponder and write essays related in any way to the types of essays that they get from college admissions officers. Some questions are self-reflective and/or rather philosophical, but most students haven't thought deeply about life or themselves. Some essay questions also require a certain amount of maturity and/or life experience.
The step from thinking to writing about these topics is yet another hurdle that leaves many students feeling uneasy and uncertain. Uneasiness and uncertainty breeds doubt, and doubt leads to writer's block or unsatisfactory drafts. The fact is that students who haven't thought in certain ways will not be able to gain satisfaction with deeply personal topics and revealing composition that they are unsure about.
Students should specifically be prepared for college admissions essay questions years in advance. They should be exposed to meaningful philosophical questions and personal reflection over a period of time so that they can develop their insight and perspectives. If they have a philosophical reference point or perspective to refer to, then it is easier. If they are provided with these opportunities, then they can easily answer many essay questions with great skill, accuracy, confidence, and efficacy. They won't lose precious time from writer's block and unsatisfactory drafts. Their experience with writing and their own plans for success also help to quiet the uncertainty about their future that often slows them down from writing.
"... so many young people are making a distorted interpretation of the pervasive psychology of growth an self-actualization. More dependent, more indulged... more passive people are interpreting this philosophy of self-actualization to mean 'waiting for inspiration,' waiting for something to happen, waiting for something to grab them, waiting for some peak experience which will tell them automatically and without much effort what their destiny is and what they should do." From Maslow on Management, by Abraham Maslow, former President of the American Psychology Association
ECRIT Solutions for Teenagers
ECRIT provides Academic Coaching includes many aspects of Life Coaching. ECRIT provides Academic Consulting to prepare and help families and students with prep school and college applications.
"The whole philosophy of waiting for things to happen instead of making them happen, of loafing and loitering during this waiting period instead of regarding talent as requiring teaching, exercise, rehearsal, training, hard work, and the like, has to be counteracted." From Maslow on Management, by Abraham Maslow, former President of the American Psychology Association