The Neurotic Parent's Guide to College Admissions

We're big believers in finding some humor in the college application process whenever possible. And last week a new book landed on our desks that made us laugh out loud -- The Neurotic Parent's Guide to College Admissions by J.D. Rothman, an Emmy-winning television writer and mastermind of The Neurotic Parent blog. (Full disclosure, she was also a contributor, along with College Admission coauthor, Christine VanDeVelde, to I'm Going to College --  Not You!, edited by Kenyon Dean of Admission Jennifer Delahunty.)

We've often remarked that the college application process is like childbirth -- you have to have gone through it in order to really understand it. The mother of two sons, one already ensconced at the college of his choice, and another in the midst of applying, Rothman is an acute observer of the road to the fat envelope, including the bad actors, personal foibles and patent absurdity that can sometimes characterize this process.

We recommend you pick up her book if someone in your family is in the midst of this rite of passage. You're guaranteed to find plenty of opportunities for fun in all the right places, but hopefully no shrieks of recognition in the wrong ones.

To whet your appetite, here's a short highlight reel of some of our favorites. Don't worry -- this is not a case where the preview is better than the feature.

Rothman on parents as metaphors… Which one are you?:

Safety Net Parents: Let them fall, but catch them before they go to jail.

It Takes a Village Moms: They offer to do double duty in carpool, then gossip about how the other parents aren't involved enough.

BFF Parents: They share clothing and dispense too much information about premarital adventures.

"We" Parents: They cannot talk about the college process without using the first-person plural: "We are looking into merit aid at Clark," or "We are getting the Princeton supplement done today."

On the college road trip:

Cons:

You will spend what you would on a Caribbean vacation, but eat mostly Chick-Fil-A.

You will see thousands of shockingly bright, polite, alert students, all of whom are vying for your son's or daughter's spot

Pros:

You will have numerous opportunities to brush up on your extreme driving skills in foul weather, as well as map-reading skills when your GPS fails.

You are guaranteed to meet other parents more neurotic than you. You will return home feeling refreshingly normal.

A sampling of Rothman's 50 Insane Reasons Why Kids Don't Like Colleges:

Dislike of archways

No In-N-Out Burger or Chipotle in walking distance

Tour guide too smug

Tour guide too outgoing

Smog

Fog

Not enough/too many Harry Potter references

Aversion to architecture: too Georgian, too Gothic, too Taco Bell

School is your parents' first choice*

In closing, though we endorse The Neurotic Parent's Guide as being spot-on as a send-up, we'd like to add a disclaimer: Don't try this at home.  Your results may suffer.  It is the advice of an experienced satirist and comedienne.

*Above excerpts used by permission of the Author

 

 

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