The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Stress of College Apps


As my 16-year old sister embarks upon the college search, I remember those stressful days I remember so clearly. With the constant arguments with my parents about how far away from home I could really go to attend school, the cost of tuition at each university, as well as the stressful topic of SAT scores and GPA criteria each school held at a high standard.
Although I have always been a hard working, diligent student growing up, my parents often instilled the idea in all three of their children that “good work” is not “great work”. Colleges are always looking for something “new” as they put it and that every student applying has the same 3.8 GPA and SAT score that I had.
I would usually go up to my room after one of these conversations and contemplate whether they were right or if they were being nagging parents that every teenager had to put up with. However, now that I am finishing my third year of college, I realized that not only did my high GPA and SAT scores, and extensive resume help me get into college, but those study habits I developed in high school to get those grades truly aided me in my success in college. If my parents had not told me to “worry”, even after being awarded as a Principle’s List honor student every quarter, I may have taken the backseat to academics and decided to cruise by in college.
Now, when I received the panic phone calls from my younger sister, I calmly explain to her that all of her hard work now will pay off. “Mom and Dad like to scare us into thinking we will never get into college…and it actually works because we all ended up getting into the six or seven colleges we apply to,” I tell her on a weekly basis.
Some people view this parenting style as one that is “not encouraging”, and one that “puts the child down”; however, I have noticed, that it really pushed me to show them that they were wrong. They never believed that their two eldest children would never get into college—they just believed that by telling us this, we would work harder to prove them wrong. Bingo! They were right and that is exactly what they are continuing to instill upon my 16-year old sister.
Of course, she really should have nothing to worry about in all honesty. Out of the three of us children, my younger sister may be the brightest. I may regret putting this into writing, for she will eventually use this against me in a petty argument; however, my older brother and I are quite impressed in her academic, athletic and leadership success she has displayed as she comes to the end of her third year in high school. At this point, the discussion between my parents and my younger sister should not be about academic responsibility in terms of getting into college, but the location of the university she applies to and ultimately decides to attend. They already let one daughter go to school 3,000 miles away from home to a state called California…my sister does not have much hope of leaving the east coast now.

-Monica Augustyn

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