Although many of my posts tend to focus on younger children, a trio of recent New York Times articles caught my eye regarding our young adults.
The first article analyzes the stress high school students experience in the race to do everything. The article was spawned by the release of a new documentary on this subject, "Race to Nowhere." When considered along with "Waiting for Superman," another recent documentary which addresses the failures of our educational system, there seems to be a great deal of current interest in improving our high school educational system. It looks like the only local screening of "Race to Nowhere" will be on January 20 in Fort Worth, so if you are interested, try to track it down. "Waiting for Superman" will be available on DVD on February 15.
The next article, entitled "Is Going to an Elite College Worth the Cost?" , has been stuck in my brain over the past week. I faced this issue in high school, choosing to go to Texas A&M instead of piling up a large debt of school loans to attend a private university. I like to think that I turned out okay, and ultimately A&M was a great fit for me. Since that time, college tuitions have skyrocketed further, raising further the question of whether the return on the investment of an elite private institution is worth it.
Lastly, at whatever college your child does attend, this article looks at the issue of grade inflation. My brother-in-law and his wife are professors at an expensive private university, and there is frequently a sense of entitlement along the lines of, "My parents are paying a lot of money for me to come here, so you better give me an 'A'." I am reminded of a quote I heard recently from Jason Garrett, interim head coach of your Dallas Cowboys -- (paraphrasing) -- "I was a mediocre quarterback. The coaches who told me I was great weren't doing me any favors."
In summary, to all my young adult patients out there: good luck surviving high school, getting into the affordable college of your dreams, and learning for the sake of intellectual curiosity and self-improvement. Oh, and I hope you truly earn an "A"!!!