Applying for college is very stressful -- not just for your sister, but also for your mom and dad. If they're like most parents I've met, who spend a lot of time and energy helping their kids, it might feel as if they are being judged.
Unless you are the parent of a child who got into their top choice school using the early decision process, then you are most likely among the multitude of parents who are trying to deal with an emotional vortex fraught with anxiety and stress.
Why is it that colleges such as MIT ask students to discuss a time they failed or Yale asks students how they would like to improve? Perfection is not a requirement and it is from our errors along the way that we grow and learn.
There are so many great challenges and opportunities in our global, hyper-connected economy. The world's your oyster, but the world desperately needs you to be true to yourself, most especially you women who love innovation and technology.
A part of me feels that the school seemed to present itself as better than it was. I was told that there is always something going on around campus, that the student-teacher ratio was amazing and visited on a warm fall day.
I understood legacy -- I was likely teaching in prisons because my father had done it in my childhood. I remember he drove a car from the motor pool of the small southern university where he taught to a state prison two hours away to teach composition to inmates.
By the time students reach college, they are familiar with the kinds of challenges that their own learning differences present for their ways of study. Rather than trying to get special assistance, many students prefer to "just deal with it" on their own.
It may be hard for parents to watch students struggle at first with this important task, just as it wasn't easy to watch them strike out at the plate, listen to their first violin solo or feel them let the clutch out too soon.
Learn to let go of things. Emotional attachments to every little item are dangerous. If that doesn't sway you, go watch an episode of A&E's Hoarders. Clear the clutter. Chances are that there are papers from the tenth grade in a folder somewhere.
Higher education is a mature industry that is on the cusp of major transformations in the next two decades, and every college and university will need to prepare to maintain their quality, efficiency and relevancy in this climate.