Last night, Jennifer Breheny Wallace and I did a webinar on achievement pressure and the college admissions process.
Jennie wrote the book, Never Enough, the New York Times bestseller about how this new generation of teenagers is starkly different than how we grew up. Students attending highly competitive high schools, in particular, are considered an "at-risk" population due to the stress they feel, the expectations placed on them, and an almost singular focus on attending highly desirable colleges.
Take, for example, the concept of student course loads. Colleges only expect students to take five core academic classes a year—English, math, history, science, and a modern/ancient language. That gives students room to take a study hall, lunch, and any electives that interest them.
We can apply this concept of setting limits to literally everything in the college admissions process, from how many activities can be listed on the application to the number of colleges students apply to. When that happens, our children can reclaim their childhood and be able to live healthier, more balanced lives.