Lying to College Admissions Committees is a Valuable Life Skill by Cindy Haney
School is finally out for the summer, thank god. But there will be NO lounging around and doing nothing this summer. No, sir! There is work to do!
This is the summer before Amanda’s senior year, and according to those annoying College Planning Guides, she is supposed to spend the summer sweating over the perfect Pulitzer-prize-winning college essay and filling out enough entrance paperwork to fill up a landfill. She’s also supposed to look for ways to boost those “extra-curricular” activities that colleges seem so overly interested in.
I’ve always thought that it was the SAT scores that colleges cared the most about. Stupid, naïve Mom. But, hey, we did get the results from Amanda’s SAT test last week, and we almost fainted when we saw them. The scores were amazingly high. And this is from a kid who could not be bothered to pull herself away from texting and Spotifying long enough to even crack the spine of the brand new $39.99 SAT study guide I bought her. Not once. This stupid book sat on the coffee table for four months collecting a stunning amount of dust. Whenever I suggested she look over the mock tests in the books, she would shrug and say “Meh.” Her friends were signing up for “SAT score-boosting” classes on the internet, but she never studied once. Suprise, she did better than her friends, so I guess that shuts my mouth. So how’s that for natural SMARTS, people?
So checklist….she’s got the scores, she’s got the GPA, she’s got the class rank, hopefully the bullcrap essay will fly, but what she doesn’t have is “extracurriculars”. For some reason, admissions committees are VERY concerned about what you do with your spare time.
Amanda didn’t get a chance to do a lot of outside activities over the years, basically because her parents are broke assholes. So that’s not really her fault. Can we say that in the essay? She didn’t get to volunteer to heal Lepers in India, intern as an understudy on Broadway, or build houses for the underprivileged in Cambodia. She didn’t get to go on any great excursions or life-changing trips to war-torn developing countries. She didn’t get to live in a mud hut for 3 months and subsist on grubs, worms and tree bark, and then come back with a new appreciation for fast food hamburgers.
Oh sure, there were plenty of summer trips like these available in our area. For the low, low price of $10,000 bucks or more, all for the chance to go to Guam to teach the villagers how to grow kale hydroponically, or to go and teach the tribal monkey-men in the remote rainforests of Africa how to trade in their loincloths for Levis so they can become more American.
All of these are worthy points-winning activities in the eyes of any Admissions Committee, I am sure. But none of them happened, so what in the world are we going to write in that section of the application? We can’t tell the truth, can we?
“Well, sirs, for the last ten years, I’ve spent my summers locked in my house with the blinds closed while my parents went to work. I learned the valuable skills of sleeping until noon, watching re-runs of “Hey Jesse!” (hey, Jess-ayah!) and eating peanut butter sandwiches in my underwear.”
I’m sorry, but these committees are forcing us to lie and make shit up. Which I plan on doing to the fullest extent. Do you think the following BLATANT LIES will help her get into college?
1) I spent a challenging summer at a National Food Supplier studying International Nutrition and Food Distribution. (She works at local grocery store).
2) I spent several fulfilling summers studying the fascinating work of Child Development and particularly the issues of Give and Take and the Art of Negotiation in the context of Sibling Relational Studies. (She babysat for her younger sister for years).
3) I spent numerous summers studying the Field of Hospitality and Entertainment and how that relates to Guest Satisfaction in a Geriatic setting. (She went to visit her grandparents).
4) I spent one summer studying Relational Behavior of the Male/Female bond and experimented with mixing different dating partners in an effort to define the Perfect Personal Dating Match. (She dated a bunch of different guys last summer).
Okay, so you get the picture. It’s a good thing I know a thing or two about “creative writing”, amIrite? Otherwise we might not ever get Amanda into a good college and out of my house!
Maybe it’s not too late to add some of that real-world experience to her resume. I just receive a flyer in the mail for an opportunity this summer to go backpacking blindfolded and barefooted while wearing adult diapers through the Australian Outback. There’s also one for an unpaid internship juicing carrots and beets at Jamba Juice.
Hmmmm…. how will we choose…..?