Why Kids Lose It at College

The parade of depressed, anxious and depleted students who walk through my office is endless. Almost all of them ask this question, “What is wrong with me? These were supposed to be the best years of my life.”

To this I almost always answer with no small amount of incredulity, “Who told you that?” Of course I know the answer to that question. Everyone, everywhere.

o All kids hear about in high school is college. “Get into the best school you can!” “Chess club will look great on your application! ” “You’ll never get into a good school with those grades!” And of course, that hyperbolic promise, “You’ll have the time of your life!” Does anyone ever say, “College is important but it’s a lot like real life. It’s got its ups and downs.”

o It’s expensive. It’s so expensive in fact that it better be fabulous. Kids go off to school feeling a weighty responsibility to make the most of it. Love it! Squeeze joy and success out of every academic and social moment. People forget you can’t buy a good time. You can buy an opportunity for a good time. But, that’s all.


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March 14th, 2011

Staff Reporter EducationNews.org

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