You're not alone in feeling like you're walking through a treacherous jungle this time of year. When it comes to the college-application essays, many parents believe they're stepping forward onto firm ground, only to discover that they've landed themselves -- and their son or daughter -- in quicksand.
It's a life lesson for my daughter, that's what I try to tell myself. This is how the world works. Just because you have a high grade point average, excellent test scores, a myriad of extracurricular activities, hundreds of hours of community service, and you're a legacy at your top pick college -- all those things might count for doo doo squat.