Amy's advice: Chill out -

Amy's advice: Chill out -

There are 17 comments on the Newsday story from Aug 12, 2007, titled Amy's advice: Chill out -. In it, Newsday reports that:

Now that it's over, certain details about the two years that my family spent thinking, talking and worrying about college have faded or disappeared altogether, in the way that the sensations of childbirth tend ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.


Buenos Aires, Argentina

#1 Aug 12, 2007
Down to earth, useful, reassuring, (again) useful

Columbia, MD

#2 Aug 12, 2007
That was just about the stupidest story I have every read. We put 3 children through school and it was certainly not a pressure situation. Our oldest knew in the sxith grade he wanted to be an engineer.
Long-time married

Fort Worth, TX

#3 Aug 12, 2007
I like this story. Congratulations on your daughter getting into a great school.

"Helicopter" parents aren't doing their children any favors.

South Jordan, UT

#4 Aug 12, 2007
Junior college followed by a state college is an excellent yet inexpensive way to get a college degree if you don't have the opportunity to get into a prestigiously named college.

Swansboro, NC

#5 Aug 12, 2007
It's helpful to see how you moved from the extreme of "over-preparing" a child to a realistic way of conducting the college search--enjoyable memories went with the stress of visiting several colleges.

We enjoyed visiting our sons away at college and learned much about the areas where they lived for four years.
KenyonKelly 00

Somerset, KY

#6 Aug 12, 2007
The worst thing any parent can do for any child, regardless if it's searching for colleges or wedding dresses, is inflict their own preconceived ideas. Neither of my parents went to college (dad did at night while pulling down 3 jobs and raising 2 kids) and not once did they ever say "You can't go further than this" or "You must..." They understood that this was my life and my experience to meld into my own, mistakes and all. It made for a wonderful experience and I made the best choice of my life (coincidentally, to one of the colleges mentioned in this piece, Kenyon!).
Not until years later did my parents share their true feelings about some of the college visits we made (e.g., I prayed you wouldn't go to X school or in Y town), but like they did with each boyfriend, they kept it to themselves.
Parents: When it comes to these life altering decisions, let kids be themselves. Have faith in how you raised them and believe that they will make the right choice for them - NOT YOU!
Kids: It's not the end of the world if you don't get in, don't get the financial aid, etc. It always works out, and as long as you have faith in the system, you'll be okay.

Salisbury, MD

#7 Aug 12, 2007
As a teacher in an accelerated English program (and a mother who will be facing her own college search in a couple years), I can so relate to this column. One of my former students dropped by last year to tell me that I HAD to read Overachievers" The Secret Life of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins.

These are kids who threaten to kill themselves i they don't get into Ivy League Schools, who are horribly sleep deprived from all their activities...every teacher, parent and school counselor should read this book.

In the meantime, I hope I can emulate Amy's laid back attitude to parenting and college tours. I love the idea of combining college visits with other activities.

Loveland, CO

#8 Aug 12, 2007
Loved your put everything back into prespective. My daugther has wanted to attend William and Mary since she was in fifth grade.......she is just about the start the whole college application process, and it was refreshing to read about your experience. Thank you for helping us keep grounded.

United States

#9 Aug 13, 2007
What a fantastic story, and just another example of what I love about Amy's approach to life.

We have always (often to a fault) encouraged our boys to make their own decisions and deal with the consequences. Our older son is, at 22, wrapping up a 2-year degree and preparing to transfer to a 4-year college for his Bachelors degree. He felt like he needed to know what he wanted to be when he grew up, before entering mainstream college life. This past weekend he actually mentioned graduate school for the first time. Yikes!

Our younger son chose our alma mater, a small private school in a rural area. It is half the size of the Chicago public high school he attended. After his first year he has mellowed out quite a bit. We were thrilled with his school choice and love going back to campus and reliving our own glory days, but when you get down to it, we are finding both of our children's educational paths to be exciting and rewarding.

Minneapolis, MN

#10 Aug 13, 2007
this was funny. liked it.
Long-time married

Fort Worth, TX

#11 Aug 13, 2007
To those who are recommending community college--I highly agree.

I started out at a local community college and absolutely loved it. Most of my classes were 20-25 students or even less, and I got a ton of individual attention from my professors. I was sorry to leave when it came time to transfer to a university, to the point that I went back to the CC for two semesters on alternate days from the university.

I couldn't wait to get back there to teach, which I did. If a school has a decent library, you can get a good education. And you can graduate without a mountain of student loan debt.

Evanston, IL

#12 Aug 13, 2007
I work for a graduate level program at a university, and even we're seeing helicopter parents now. Thank you Amy, for showing common sense.
Former flower child

Fort Worth, TX

#13 Aug 15, 2007
My husband deals with young salesmen, and he comes home with tales of them expecting to be spoonfed on what to do with customers. Hopefully none of their parents will get in on the act.
A Reader

United States

#14 Sep 1, 2007
An "advise columnist" does not a writer make. Amy needs to stick with giving advice and leave the story-writing to skilled writers.
jim pack


#15 Sep 24, 2007
excellent writing....

Bridgewater, NJ

#16 Oct 6, 2007
Most of your advise on this subject was good, however I'd like to add my two cents. William and Mary is a very selective school, so this girl's grades, activities, and written essay must have had an impact on those who admitted her. My daughter is now going through the same thing, and I'm a bit stressed out about the outcome of the college selection process. I'm very confident she'll do well no matter where she goes, but suffice it to say it IS stressful.

Bridgewater, NJ

#17 Oct 6, 2007
Sorry--it should read "advice".

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