Episode 236: The Golden Ticket All Kids Really Need with Irena Smith
Applying to college feels more like a grueling competition these days, with an acceptance into one of the top 20 schools being the ultimate prize. But when you “win” the competition, what are you actually winning? That’s a question author Irena Smith poses in her recent memoir, The Golden Ticket: A Life in College Admissions Essays.
Irena, who also runs a private college counseling practice, has seen how much the pressures of college are impacting our kids’ mental health and limiting their futures, and she believes that it’s our job as parents to take a step back and remember what’s really important. “Pushing a kid to punch above their weight in terms of applying to college is not necessarily a healthy thing. Maybe the goal is simply that the kid graduates from high school with health and sanity intact. There's a lot of time to figure out what to do.”
During our conversation we discuss Irena’s brilliant book and the writing process behind it, her ADHD childhood and emigrating from the Soviet Union, some measurable ways parents can reduce the pressure on both their children and themselves during the college admissions process, and so much more.