One lecture I attended at the MIT ESP Splash parent lectures in 2011 was a total and complete waste of my time. The rest were fantastic and I am so grateful for them.
This one was a bomb. It was about college admissions. It wound up being a sales pitch for families to buy a software and online program that seemed completely unnecessary for me. The main thing was a timeline calendar telling you what to do when, for the college applications process. Anyone who has researched the process even a little bit already knows this information.
Anyhow the purpose of my post is to share this is when I realized this guy was not speaking to my family. No way, no how.
This is what he said about:
How Students and Parents Pick a College
Boyfriend or girlfriend goes there/ going to go there
All my friends go there
“Good food” there
It’s a party school!
Have certain sports teams
Dorm size (is good)
Money, can afford it
It’s their Alma Mater
Quality of the education there
Drive is within 2 hours
UMMMM--------something was left off the list that is the top priority for my kids and my husband and I. That would be “has the major in the field I want to study”.
Also “is a good school for that major, respected and well known as a good program for that major”.
And of course “the school is a good fit for my child for multiple reasons”.
Depending on your career choice, it may be important to attend a brand name school for that career field. It’s not always necessary but in some industries such as my husband’s, it is important. He learned that the hard way. I also experienced favoritism for job candidates who attended a select few colleges where I worked.
The audience contributed these as reasons to pick that school:
Brand name school
Well known school
Have area you want to study
(He stopped calling on the audience at that point.)
Well anyhow when I realized that this guy thought that the people in the room actually supported that list he provided for what students and parents wanted I realized he was not a right fit for the people in the room, or so I’d like to think.
I chose to not leave the room although I wanted to bolt, because I wasn’t sure if the lecture was going to improve or stop being a sales pitch. In the end, I didn’t learn anything there except perhaps my family is in the minority if what we are looking for is not stuff like “good dorm rooms” and “good food” and “party school” and “where my girlfriend goes”.
Frankly I think a little suffering in college is a good thing so a crappy dorm room and bad food is fine by me. That way when the kids start working and supporting themselves and have it better than college was they’ll feel grateful -- instead of living in a country club college that may be even better than home was, and then realizing when they are working in the real world they are now slumming it even worse than when they lived with Mommy and Daddy.