Monday, August 27, 2007

Kids Told To Purposely Make Typos On College Applications

Now that's just insane.
They call it "Authenticity".
It is yet another dumb gimmick if you ask me.

Steven Roy Goodman, an independent college counselor, says you should put typos in your college application on purpose to show that you are not just a robot and are less than perfect.

It reminds me of when girls were told to make themselves look and sound stupid on purpose to get a boyfriend.

I think Mr. Goodman is giving very bad advice. He is basically telling kids, and their parents, that you should do less than your best and basically misrepresent your abilities. This is somehow going to make you stand out.

Everyone already knows that we are not all perfect. Schools do not expect our kids to be perfect. But I'd wager that they do expect kids to show that they are capable of sending in an application that reflects your desire to show your best work.

OK - so how authentic really is it if you are making yourself out to be less than what you really are. Not to say that anyone is perfect, but a college application should show your best effort ... not one that is purposely riddled with errors.

Teens should be told instead that there are many authentic ways to stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Here's my advice:
- Write an interesting essay which gives some true insight into your studies and experiences.
- Have some interesting achievements, or convey the things that you are passionate about.
- Be honest.
- Explain what you really want to do with your life, if you already know.
- Explain what you have already learned from life.
- Explain what you expect to gain from college.
- There are so many ways to make yourself stand out, because in truth you are an individual with many gifts and talents.
- The trick is to discover what those are so you can let other people know too.

But really the bottom line is to be yourself. It also wouldn't hurt to talk to some of the college counselors ahead of time to discover what it is they might be looking for.

And just as they say for every pot there is a cover... for every teenager there is a college that will be a great fit for them. The trick is finding it.

But lying on your application? Making typos on purpose?

So tell me ... What applications will "the experts" tell the kids to lie on next time?

Hmmm.. perhaps this is one reason why homeschoolers are being sought after by colleges - they don't fall for these gimmicks. They showcase their talents and they stand out without making glaring errors on their applications. They show that they do not follow the crowd.