I live in a very affluent area. The county where I happen to reside is the second richest county in the entire United States, Fairfax County. The richest county is next door, Loudon County.
My own old, rickety, drafty, small house is of higher value than big luxurious houses in other cities. It is actually quite sick!
We never really noticed the recession. Everything was business as usual, the stores busy, the restaurants packed.
Every day life just went on.
That is the Washington DC suburbs for you.
There are more people with college degrees here than anywhere else in the country.
The pressure is ON as soon as you’re born.
As soon as you leave the hospital with your baby, you may already have signed said baby up for the pre-school, and school, where you want your baby to start in 3-5 years. And, yes, those schools have WAITING LISTS that goes on for years!
You have a PLAN from the DAY your kid is born!
IF you are not putting your child into a private school (that can easily cost as much as a college education) you have got to move to a county where the public schools are top of the line.
And, since it is a rich and affluent area, the public schools ARE bound to be good.
That is the way it works. Unfair? YES.
VERY MUCH SO! Very crazy indeed.
Competition starts early on.
And, in order to keep your sanity it is best to take a step to the side. Watch from a distance, and take everything in stride.
You have to cool it, not sign your kid up to a hundred activities a week. Just, sort of, go with the flow.
Pretty soon you’ll learn what to avoid.
The kids get pressured early on to go to college. Right away, they all know that they are college bound.
College saving plans are set up from the day they were born (yes, guilty as charged), early on parents start to tell their kids about the good schools, the Ivy’s, the Premiere League schools, the highest ranked public universities. The list goes on...
A very young child might have pressure to get into Princeton.
A young child is pressured to make good grades, to get in to Advanced Academics in third grade. To take ALL honor classes in Middle school, and in High School. In HS, the kids are stretched to their limits.
AP classes, IB classes, college courses in HS.
No wonder they are exhausted. They have to perform well ALL the time. The pressure is pushing them from EVERY level; teachers, parents, family, friends and colleges.
BE. YOUR. BEST. GET. IN. TO. THE. RIGHT. COLLEGE.
DO not slack off for even a minute.
WHAT would happen if the parents, teachers and colleges stepped aside?
How would the high school kid perform then?
I have a feeling that they would, indeed, perform well even without all this insane pressure.
It is a rat race.
Facebook, and other social media, was bursting at their seems over the weekend when three big, top-of-the-line, Virginia universities sent out THE letter (it might be in a form of an e-mail, but you get what I mean). And, this week all the Ivy League schools will send out their letters.
Happy kids posted Saturday and Sunday! PROUD parents screamed out their joy!
Sure, sure, I SO get it. BUT for every over joyed kid there are three devastated kids that did not get in. Yes, most of them have good grades, good GPA’s and so forth. BUT, no, they did not get in.
I know them all; the kids that got in to these schools, I also know the kids that did NOT get in.
Plan B has to take form for the ones that did not get in.
And, it will probably be JUST as fine at “Plan B”, maybe even better! Only, the kids (and their parents) do not know it yet.
It is a crazy area I live in.
Here are three articles that were published in The Washington Post recently.
They, pretty much, say it all.
On the "regular madness"
And, guess what?
We’re getting snow today!