Last issue’s column entitled “Living In A Me First World” obviously affected many parenting worlds. It made me happy. Not because I was trying to prove a point but rather because parents who contacted me were indeed concerned.
Though they were somewhat to blame, it was acknowledged that it was parents model behavior that caused 80 percent of the students I spoke with to say that achievement or personal happiness is a greater priority than caring for others.
When you think about it, it’s easy to see why. We live in a world where there are tangible results for succeeding. So here’s an idea – what if we found a way to make caring and concern as equally tangible to students and parents as opposed to just being considered an “emotional benefit.”
TO THE TOP OF MT. COLLEGE
So here’s a thought. In Part 1, I spoke about parents’ priority of getting their kids to the top of Mt. College. It seems like during the trek, they just passed and in some cases walked over others who have fallen. What if we changed the dynamic and made helping those on the ground equally, if not more valuable, as making it to the top?
The problem is that most of the time parents and students must play to the rules of the college game. This means that being caring of others must be as valuable as a 7.9 weighted GPA, 1560 SAT or a 34 ACT.
So let’s look at an academic world where kindness and caring does indeed count.
THE ARGUMENT FOR MAKING KINDNESS COUNT
One of the first things I ask students at the beginning of a The Student Success Project “Real Talk” presentation is:
1. When was the last time you thanked a teacher for anything?
2. When was the last time you thanked cafeteria staff for delivering 100’s of lunches in less than 30 minutes?
3. And finally, when was the last time you thanked the custodial staff for keeping the school clean?
With the season of nail-biting, heartbreaking and gut-wrenching college acceptance notices around the corner it gives way to the need of asking – doesn’t being a good person carry clout in the college sweepstakes?
TO VALUE KINDNESS
“I have met some wonderful students who may not be the most gifted academically but are off the charts in empathy, nurturing, and support. You see, unless you value kindness as important as a 34 on the ACT those special great students still might not get the recognition they deserve. And forget finding it in letters of recommendation, as most are typically superfluous, written by people who the applicant thinks will impress a school,” said South Florida Based Mental Health Counselor Lori Moldovan IMH
A BLOOD FEST
It has become a blood fest, as there are so many super academic achievers for just a precious few college spots. This is brutal for students, as being a wonderful person seemingly doesn’t account for much.
Until admissions committees figure out a way to effectively recognize the genuine but intangible personal qualities of applicants, we must rely on little things to make the difference.
Let’s make being a high achieving student labeled one who is loaded with character traits and has real strong grades in kindness, caring and concern. That’s the one we all should want to see on the top of Mt. College.
This column is by Ritchie Lucas, Founder of The Student Success Project and Think Factory Consulting. He can be reached at 305-788-4105 or email at email@example.com and on Facebook and You Tube as The Student Success Project. Lori Moldovan IMH can be reached at 786-747-2855. She frequently works with adolescents dealing with anxiety, depression and substance issues.