College Application Process (Part 4)

This is part of a series of  trying to get into college, a parents perspective.  Please read all previous blog posts starting at Part1 in “Raising a College Bound Teen”. 

Dear Diary,

It may be Fall for everyone else, but for my household, its “The Application” season.   I would prefer seeing the leaves fall off the trees, becoming ground cover for the winter ahead.  Instead, I watch him diligently completing the common application, meant to satisfy most universities.  Some schools have “supplements”.   Supplements are an additional request for “fresh thinking” essays that try to uncover your child’s deepest truths or their ability to shock and awe the admissions officers.   Defining X and writing about what kind of a tree you would be and why are just a few of this past year’s skill testing questions.   We, and I mean we, because this has become a family sport.  We all weigh in and formulate our strategy on which teachers get the lucky “request for reference” letters.  Basically, who likes your kid best and who can help to sell them into the university. Which teacher has the writing ability of a politician to make anything seem wonderful and possible.  All of the teachers are supportive of this effort.  They don’t say it, but I’m sure the more popular teachers, who don’t get paid for this additional act of goodness, wish they could bypass it all together.   I wouldn’t blame them if they did.   They press on and do what needs to be done.  No complaints.  Saints I tell you!                                                             Yours truly, Anxious

PS The mail man has put his back out carrying all of those letters and pamphlets to our door.  By now, I estimate two trees have been ripped out from the Pacific Northwest forests!

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