A recent piece by clinical psychologist Jamieson Webster grabbed my attention.
I encourage parents to read the article here.
There are so many factors influencing our kids' (and our) mindsets as we look to the future. Certainly, though, within communities where pursuit of higher education is an expectation or at least a completely viable option, we have to liberate students' hopes, aspirations and choices from the broken escalator, as the article describes the persistent notion of a linear pathway to "success."
Life doesn't work that way, and I'm here to report from over 20 years in education that "prestige" and selectivity in admission have nothing to do with eventual fulfillment in career, vocation, or life in general. So many young people reach this place of "disenchantment" because of implicit and explicit pressures to fit a mold that is believed to lead to a desired pathway. At some point, a breaking point is inevitable when so much of one's self is suppressed.
Let's listen to the adolescents, and look in the mirror they are holding up to us!
For related content, check out these resources as well:
The Challenge Success White Paper on college rankings (which is about much more than rankings.)