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My parents are stressing me out!!!!

rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Harvard Champion
Quite a bold title there, I know.

And I put this in the Prep School Parents thread for a reason; I would love some advice from all you boarding moms out there.

But honestly, my parents are making me want to pull my hair out with all of this boarding school stuff.

I was so worried about my SSAT scores (I got an 89% but my math is 68% which literally lowered the whole score down.)
PLUS My mom kept lecturing me about how NONE of her friend's genius children ever got accepted into a GLADCHEMMS. AND my brother got about the same score as me on the SSAT, applied to The Hill School, and didn't get accepted. So obviously, I was constantly worrying. Not to mention that I'm an ORM; Boarding Schools must get thousands of applications from Asian girls. International students and ones from America.

But after reading some of the posts here on CC about how the SSATs are only one part of the application process, I had gotten calmed down a bit. Until I told my Mom everything about the SSAT stuff and she simply said "Those kids with SSAT scores that aren't at least 95% are probably rich and their parents probably donate a lot of money to the schools or they're George Bush's relative." I had been constantly hearing this Blab from my Mom and Dad, and now they're just making me even more upset.

They keep telling me how I "need something special" such as a special EC. And honestly, I think I have enough ECs! I'm not some girl who has won millions of piano competitions, or published 3 books, but that doesn't mean I'm "not special"! I KNOW I'm different than others. I'm not your typical Asian "Math Genius" I love poetry, photography, literature, and animals. I believe I have enough leadership and commitment in my current activities. I've been doing Girl Scouts since Kindergarten, I play 2 instruments, in string ensemble and the school orchestra, in Model UN, and I've played fencing for 3 years! I don't understand why she keeps comparing me to other Asian geniuses who got rejected! I'M DIFFERENT THAN THEM.

But what does my mother say? "You need to earn your Silver Award for Girl Scouts in order for that activity to even count!" And I HAVE been working really hard by sending tons of e-mails in order to achieve my award BEFORE next December. "You don't have enough activities! You're never going to get in!" "You need to win this fencing competition in order to get accepted!" "You got an 89% ON SSAT AND THIS PERSON GOT 97% ON SSAT AND THEY DIDN'T GET ACCEPTED!" And I know she's only saying it because she truly cares but to be honest, I'M ALWAYS GETTING MORE STRESSED OUT AND NOT TO MENTION I HAVE SCHOOL STUFF IN MY HANDS. AND MY MOM WANTS ME TO TAKE THE SATs IN 8TH GRADE SO SHE'S ALREADY PREPARING ME. I always feel like I'm going to crack and I have had nowhere to vent because I know no one personally who had ever gone through the same things I am going through.

Just please, help me elaborate more on my tough situation. That was a pretty loud vent post there but I just really needed to get that out of my system.
edited May 2013 in Prep School Parents
22 replies
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Replies to: My parents are stressing me out!!!!

  • london203london203 6 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    Oh dear. I am sorry this is so stressful for your family. Would it help to know that there are LOADS of schools out there, so there are places for you. Are your parents insisting on the GLADCHEMMS only? If so, maybe you could do some research on your own and see if you can come up with a couple of schools outside that list which might be a good fit.

    Also, are there boarding school fairs near you? You might have your parents take you to one, so that they can see the breadth of offerings out there... they might even learn about schools that they haven't even heard of.

    As to not having enough EC's: it sure sounds like you do quite a few things. I don't think schools are looking for kids that do everything... more likely they want kids who do what they like and are passionate about. Doing an activity just to have the option of writing it down is not really worth doing. And I am pretty sure, admissions staff can see right though that sort of thing.

    Try to tune out the worry -- I hope you parents are truly interested in boarding school for the right reasons. This is not a ticket to the Ivies, nor is it a way into the upper social echelons. If they are truly interested in finding a school that fits you, then you will find one (or more!).

    Good luck. Any chance you could tell your parents how you feel? Or have someone else tell them (older sibling, aunt, family friend)... or show them this board and let them read about other families' stories....
    edited May 2013
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  • sosomenzasosomenza 109 replies1 discussions
    Your parents self esteem is tied into your academic admissions. Right or wrong they are se
    t in their ways and will not change. All you can do is to accept the flaw without it driving you crazy. GL
    edited May 2013
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  • rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Harvard Champion
    Sigh, I DO want to go to boarding school and I don't know whether my parents want me to apply only to GLADCHEMMS or not...

    But I AM passionate about what I do. I'm not doing just to "write it down" because I've been doing these activities long before I even decided about applying to boarding school so I'm not some fake kid doing all of this just for an application process. I've been doing these activities forever. I applied to Model Un primarily because I wanted to join and be involved in all of the learning. Not because I wanted it to look good on a boarding school application. I also started fencing because I LOVE the sport. I begged my mom to sign me up when I was only in 4th grade. That was even BEFORE I new what boarding schools were!

    My parents ARE interested for the right reasons. Please don't assume it's only because they want "a way into the upper social echelons." That is exactly the opposite of what they are. My parents save all their money for our education instead of spending it on fancy unnecessary items. OR assume that all of my activities are merely fake fillers for an application. They are not. I do all of what I do because I love them.
    edited May 2013
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  • pwalshpwalsh 2 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    Asian syndrome. You can make your parents proud by going to your local public school. More than half the Ivy class comes from public schools.
    edited May 2013
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  • rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Harvard Champion
    @pwalsh

    This is not about going to an Ivy school though. I also myself want to get accepted into a boarding school. I never said anything about college.
    edited May 2013
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  • PhotographerMomPhotographerMom 5 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    Attending a BS Fair is a great idea! I think going might ease a little tension and open minds. Great advice/ post, London.


    I would present a trip to a school fair as an adventure you'd like to have with her. I think your mom will be excited to share that experience with you! I've never been to a school fair, but I bet they're fun and informative.

    PS- Every time my kids want to do something, they bill it as an adventure. Gets me every time :).

    Good luck!
    edited May 2013
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  • london203london203 6 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    Please don't think I am insulting your parents. I just wanted to understand better why they are so stressed about this. I assume it is because they want the absolute best for you! I just wanted to say that there are lots of options for schools and you should be sure to choose the one you want for the right reasons.

    As to your EC's: I seem to have put my foot in all of this! I meant that what you do sounds great and you are obviously passionate about them. I was just trying to say not to add things just because they might "look good". Keep on doing what you love... that will come through in interviews and essays.

    On boardingschoolreview.com you can do the advanced search and find all the schools that offer fencing (for example), and maybe you just might happen upon a school you hadn't considered. The boarding school fairs could also make your parents feel more comfortable with schools that are not so well known.

    I am sure this will all work out... it is stressful. But it can also be fun. All the best.
    edited May 2013
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  • rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Harvard Champion
    @london203

    Sorry I know I kind of overreacted there. You obviously don't mean anything wrong. I just wish my mother would understand that you can't just join an activity to make it look good. Thanks so much though. I will definitely try to go to one of the fairs!
    edited May 2013
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  • Momof7thgraderMomof7thgrader 2 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    Consider picking up a copy of Tiger Babies Strike Back by Kim Wong Keitner for your mom.

    Seriously, you seem like a very cool kid and pretty savvy for a 7th grader. Concentrate on the things you love, cut your mom some slack and ask that she do the same for you. Schools, even top tier schools, are more interested in a smart, capable, well rounded kid than some perfect ideal.
    edited May 2013
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  • rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Harvard Champion
    Momof7thgrader,

    Haha the book sounds awesome! I will definitely get to that.
    edited May 2013
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  • SevenDadSevenDad 14 replies0 discussions
    You mean you aren't in the top 10 of the NRPS points list?!? You'll never get in anywhere.

    I AM KIDDING, OF COURSE. And BTW, do boarding schools "moms" have a monopoly on sage advice?!?

    I'll chime in more when I have time, from the POV of an Asian dad with one kid in BS and another who will be applying next year.

    For now, I'll just leave you with this thought...if you plan to continue fencing in any meaningful way (and by this I mean doing USFA events and not just fencing for your high school's team), the options in the BS world are rather limited. I think I can count on one hand the schools I'd consider sending my younger daughter (a fencer) to if she wishes to pursue the sport in HS. I will share this list with you via PM.
    edited May 2013
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  • payn4wardpayn4ward 8 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    Well, all the things she said is true, isn't it?
    Just joking, of course. ;)

    Why not ask your mom to join CC and she will be so busy reading threads, she won't have time to nag you. ;-)
    In the mean time, she can check out Hidden Gem schools threads for you to consider and widen the net.
    She will understand it's crapshoot and lower expectations.

    This journey is a partnership between you and your family. You need each other to help, not stress each other.
    Ask her to help you on this process. Citing meaningless statistics is not helpful.

    Give her something productive to do or come up with tasks together (will you be visiting schools over summer? plan trips together. have her look at course catalogs.) so she feels empowered as it seems that she is worried and she wants to help you but doesn't know how.
    edited May 2013
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  • payn4wardpayn4ward 8 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    Taking SAT in 8th grade is quite reasonable.
    The score won't stay and follow your records unlike the SATs taken after 9th grade.
    Many 6th and 7th graders take SAT and/or ACT to qualify for programs like JHU CTY, NU CTD, EPGY and fellowships.
    However, if you do a practice SAT test and the score is much below CTY program requirements, it may not be worthwhile.
    edited May 2013
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  • 2prepMom2prepMom 19 replies0 discussions
    Lawrenceville is good for fencing. Really good. Check it out.

    Getting into a competitive boarding school is a crapshoot these days, even for the best applicants. So even if you are a 99% SSAT, a national fencer, and have several big ECs, and good grades, you still may not get in.

    THIS IS NOT A REFLECTION ON YOUR WORTH AS A PERSON. It just means too many people are obsessed with applying to a few small "name" schools.

    I agree with the above parents, you sound like a well grounded person, with many strong attributes. I would spend some time thinking about why you want to go to boarding school (? space from parents), what is the kind of school YOU want that to be, and then dodge away from only GLADCHEMS and find some cool "Hidden gems" (see the CC thread). Then, encourage parents to let you apply to a range of schools when application time comes. You may have to time that carefully, but it is a good idea. Like the day before applications are due say (Oh look what a cool school I just found, can I apply, please, please, just as a backup?) They will probably be stressed and befuddled and say yes (have the application done) ....or some similar plan.

    Your parents love you a lot. They will calm down as you get older and they will push you less. You will also grow better at ignoring them.
    edited May 2013
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  • payn4wardpayn4ward 8 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    They may not calm down for quite a while...
    Just work hard for now for a boarding school, then
    Just four years for a good college, then
    Just another four years for a medical school...

    (then perhaps till the debts are paid off?)
    True story.
    edited May 2013
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