Let’s Dream a Bigger Dream for Education and College Admissions

images Lets Dream a Bigger Dream for Education and College AdmissionsI gave a presentation this past week  in Duxbury, MA through their Parent Connection to a wonderful audience hungry to know how to do this thing called college admissions.  Although parents of all age groups were there, most were parents of juniors, poised at the edge of the process and about to go into the big dive of application preparation this summer.  My host was the incomparable champion for kids, ML Nichols, who has written her own book about how to support your child’s education in this era of competing demands.  I was preceded by Meredith Barnhart of MEFA (Massachusetts Educational Financing Association) who did an excellent and comprehensive job of outlining the steps involved in applying for both college admission and financial aid.

As I sat in the hushed auditorium before I went on, reading the powerpoint slides and listening to Meredith’s instruction, it hit me how complicated college admissions people have made this entire system.  I could feel the tension of worried parents all around me and began to yearn for something different, for a true tipping point that would change it all because where we are now is in the weeds.  Deep in the weeds.  And then I got it…

Education needs a wellness movement.

Just as modern allopathic medicine has become completely focused on symptom relief, dictated by the magic and promises of the pharmaceutical industry, college admissions/education is now run by a business model, dictated by the magic and promises of ranking systems, primarily the USNWR, that now offers a top 10 placement for every college in some category, including the newest, “Best Up and Comer Schools”.   Yeah, there really is a good comparison here.

Springing up through the chaos, like crocuses through the snow, is the wellness movement in medicine.  More a grass roots movement than anything, the wellness movement takes a prophylactic approach, focusing on maximizing health so we won’t need pharmaceuticals, trips to the ER  and dramatic medical intervention .  It teaches us about the health benefits of food (food is the medicine, folks), exercise and mindfulness, which is a fancy term for staying focused in the moment.  Turns out that when we do the right things, our bodies work just fine.  They fight off the flu without toxic flu shots loaded up with arsenic and other poisons.  They resist disease all on their own.  Like magic.  Just as Nature intended.  Because so many people yearn for good health, the wellness movement is growing, and just in time too since there are now over 100,000 man-made chemicals in the environment that did not exist 60 years ago and our bodies are tasked with metabolizing them.  When we live in a way that promotes good health, allopathic medicine can then do what it does best – extreme intervention only when needed. The dog returns to wagging its own tail, not the other way around as we experience now.

So what would a comparable wellness movement look like in education, in college admissions?

Take a moment and imagine…then, as  SNL’s Linda Richmond would say, “Tawk amungst yuhselves”.

I’ll give you a day or two to think this over and then we’ll reconvene to continue the dream.  Stand by…



Less Stress, More Success

"Her book has added to her reputation as a kind of guru of the movement to tame the college admissions frenzy.”
New York Times
Our book group just read your book and it sparked more conversation than we’ve had in the seven years we’ve been reading together. Being successful professionals with busy lives and even busier children, we’re all trying to figure out how to find the time to just stop and enjoy our lives amidst so much pressure. Some of us find ourselves quoting you to our husbands and kids now, so you are our hero. ;-)
Sophia N. and Nancy R.

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