Why It’s Okay to Be A Late Bloomer
There’s a lot of pressure on young people today to do well in school, get into a good college, then graduate and find a good job–and to do all of this within a certain timeline!
However, everyone is different.
Not all students reach the end of high school with certainty about what they should do with themselves next. In fact, some high school graduates may not be in a position to achieve those “next steps.”
In our line of work, we encounter all kinds of situations, from students who require an extra year of tutoring to achieve the grades or test scores needed to apply to college, to those who simply need time off to figure themselves out. Some may even conclude that college isn’t right for them.
No matter what the scenario, we want to assure parents and students alike that it’s okay to deviate from the so-called “typical” timeline for reaching life’s milestones.
In fact, research suggests that late bloomers may be at a specific advantage.
The Science Behind Late Blooming
Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine, is one of many successful people who consider themselves to be late bloomers. Karlgaard has even written a book on the topic, called Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement.
“Today we are madly obsessed with early achievement…. But precocious achievement is the exception, not the norm,” he writes in the Wall Street Journal. “The fact is, we mature and develop at different rates.”
He goes on to discuss scientific research suggesting that our brains don’t fully develop until well into our twenties.
Specifically, it’s the prefrontal cortex that takes longer to develop, an area that has to do with complex processes like planning ahead, connecting actions to possible consequences, and weighing risk and reward. Obviously, those are crucial skills for getting through the end of high school and for big life moves–like applying to college.
At least one psychologist, Jeffrey Arnett of Clark University, believes that the period from age 18 until 30 is a distinct phase of development, which he calls “emerging adulthood.” Moreover, even past 30, our cognition continues to change and mature throughout our lives.
“At any given age, you’re getting better at some things, you’re getting worse at some other things, and you’re at a plateau at some other things,” says neuroscientist Joshua Hartshorne, as quoted in Karlgaard’s article.
Notable Late Bloomers
Karlgaard also points out the many successful people out there who didn’t come into their own until later in life. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison didn’t publish her first novel until age 39.
Actor Alan Rickman (a.k.a Snape from Harry Potter) earned his breakout role in Die Hard at age 42. And Karlgaard himself spent his first few years after college working as a security guard.
“Like me, most late bloomers will discover that they have greater opportunities to succeed on alternative paths, far from the madness and pressure of early achievement,” he claims.
Those words are also relevant for people who make missteps during their youth — for example, students who get kicked out of school, commit a crime, or do something else that they immediately regret. The good news is that your life doesn’t have to be over when something like this happens.
Just ask Hannah Stotland, an academic counselor who helps students with “rocky backgrounds” continue in higher education:
“After getting straight Fs my last three semesters of high school, I received an empty diploma case at graduation, and later my GED,” she writes in Slate. “Dealing with the natural consequences of my homework boycott was a critical part of my growing up. Thanks to that real growth, I now have undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard, where I enrolled as a junior transfer four years after my non-graduation.”
She even goes on to say, “Truth be told, the kids who are to blame for their own misfortune are my favorite students to work with. Seeing the growth and enlightenment that many of these students gain from grappling with their new reality is the greatest joy of my professional life.”
Here’s to Achievement at All Stages in Life
As both Karlgaard and Stotland make clear, it’s okay to take a more circuitous route to adulthood. It’s also okay to take more time getting there!
In fact, changing our thinking about how that journey should unfold would benefit all of us.
As Karlgaard puts it:
“How we evaluate young people places needless emotional burdens on families and has helped to spur an epidemic of anxiety and depression among teens and young adults. The effort to forge young people into wunderkinds is making them fragile and filling them with self-doubt. It suggests that if you haven’t become famous, reinvented an industry or banked seven figures while you’re still in your 20s, you’ve somehow off track. But the basic premise is wrong: Early blooming is not a requirement for lifelong accomplishment and fulfillment.”
At PrepMaven, we celebrate all stages of “blooming,” and we’re here to guide students through all stages of the college admissions process. Have questions? We have answers.
Start a conversation today.
Greg & Kevin
Greg and Kevin are brothers and the co-founders of PrepMaven and Princeton Tutoring. They are Princeton engineering graduates with over 20 years of education experience. They apply their data and research-backed problem-solving skills to the test prep and college preparation process. Their unique approach places a heavy emphasis on personal development, character, and service as key components of college admissions success.
Late Bloomers Still Have Time to Meet College Admission Requirements
If you’re a senior who hasn’t thought much about college, you might just be beginning to think about what you’re going to do after graduation. Take heart: it is never too late to apply to college. There is still time to complete college admission requirements, and to show grade improvements that can help with admission in the spring. You might even consider a post-graduate or gap year to help you apply to college a year after high school graduation.
We are often asked, by seniors but also by concerned juniors and sophomores, about whether it is possible to overcome earlier poor high school performance and lack of focus in order to get in to college. The answer is absolutely “yes”! Let’s focus on seniors, for members of younger classes can learn from this discussion — and have much more time to take our advice to heart.
Testing is a key part of the college admissions process
The first thing you need to think about is standardized testing. Most students go through a regular college admission process; they apply to several colleges (8 to 10 or so) with deadlines that are typically in January. Rolling admissions present another option, though, one that anyone applying late should at least look into.
Schools with rolling admissions continue to accept applications into the winter and sometimes spring, depending upon whether or not those individual schools have their own deadlines. Seniors applying to these schools should file applications earlier rather than later, since odds of admission decrease during the year. Thus, making November, for example, a personal deadline for rolling admission universities makes sense and it allows students to take the SAT or ACT in October and/or November.
(If you’re interested in more information on rolling admissions, follow the link.)
But what if you’re not applying to a school with rolling admissions?
If you’re applying to a balanced list of colleges, following regular admissions deadlines, you can actually wait and take the SAT or ACT in December, or even as late as January, and still have the scores count. So, the first lesson is that it is not too late to prepare for and take (or re-take) these important tests. Diligent work on your part can improve your scores and your chances for admission. And, if you can’t bring those scores up, you can consider the growing list of colleges that do not require the SAT or ACT for admission.
Grades are also a factor in meeting college admission requirements
The second factor to work on this year is your grades and course selection. If you act before it’s too late and you think you can handle it, you can change into a more rigorous academic program. It is worth a discussion with your counselor to see if that makes sense. This is particularly important if it looks like you need to take certain courses, such as an additional year of science or foreign language, in order to fulfill college admission requirements that exceed your high school’s graduation requirements.
Even if you had a difficult first year — or three years — of high school, your senior year counts. Regular admission colleges will see your first semester, and possibly even winter mid-term, grades. Showing improved and consistent performance can make a difference, even at this stage in your high school career.
Identify schools to apply to
The next steps in the college admission process are to research a range of colleges, visit several to make sure they fit your preferences, and apply carefully. Put together strong applications, expressing your strengths and personality, and articulating why you believe certain colleges will work well for you. Also try to schedule on-campus interviews (where available), sign up for alumni interviews, and attend meetings with college representatives who might visit your school or community during the fall. Contacts that can assist you in telling your story can help, particularly at the smaller to mid-sized colleges.
Also talk with your guidance counselor and work with him or her to come up with an appropriate list. Your goal is to produce several admission offers in the spring. Then, you will have time to explore these schools carefully to make the best and most well-informed decision.
Keep in mind that you might be placed on waiting lists by some colleges. If you are, then you can pursue those schools by writing letters expressing strong interest and updating them on your grades and activities.
Ask for college admissions assistance
Throughout the year, work with your teachers to reach your goals. Explain that you are focused on college, identify which schools you are considering, and express that you are taking things seriously. Identify one, or preferably two, core academic teachers who can write good recommendations for you.
Have a backup plan
If you do not get into colleges that interest you, or find that you are not able to put everything together to complete the college admissions process this year, consider a gap or post-graduate (PG) year. Taking the extra year can be of great benefit — but you need to make that year work for you.
A gap year can entail work, community service, academic classes at a local college, and/or travel. You can pursue interests, save money, show academic determination and ability through community college classes, or volunteer in an area you are passionate about. You could even enroll full-time in a PG year at a boarding school where you can work on good grades in good courses, retake standardized tests, and enjoy access to professional college counseling and college admissions assistance. If you make good use of a gap year, you will appear more mature, ready, and qualified for college entrance and success.
You might also consider enrolling full-time in a local community college. There, you can pursue specialized interests or a balanced liberal arts curriculum. You can also pursue your associate (2-year) degree, or seek to transfer to a 4-year college or university after a year of study.
Meeting college admissions requirements is possible
Most importantly, remember that it’s never too late to make it to college. You simply need patience, determination, and both a short- and long-term focus on success.
By Howard and Matthew Greene, hosts of two PBS college planning programs and authors of the Greenes’ Guides to Educational Planning series and other books.
What to Do if Your Student Doesn’t Want to Go to College
Source: Flickr user [email protected].
Bamboo grows quickly, but its flowers can take quite some time to bloom, much like many teenagers.
Their bodies may grow bigger. Their feet have quickly grown through kid’s shoes and well into the adult sizes. But this does not mean their brains have matured for such adult tasks as being academically, socially, or emotionally ready for college.
Our current system often forces kids of a certain chronological age to begin the college search process. Often, it’s without regard to whether they are truly ready for this major life change. There is no shortage of teenagers who, for one reason or another, simply don’t want to go to college. After all, they’re barely old enough to obtain a driver’s permit.
These are what I call “late bloomers”. Teens, who, for one reason or another, do not have the internal drive to take charge of their college search process (at least not at the time when it’s most relevant to them).
For parents, it can be an incredibly frustrating experience: How can you best help them? What should you do–or not do–to push your teens who don’t want to go to college forward?
While some students are ready to start planning for higher education even earlier than 11th grade, many don’t want to go to college. They do not express the interest, hard work, or dedication necessary to warrant the kind of investment inherent in going to college.
I am not advocating that we, as parents, should simply sit back and let our sometimes-disorganized teens drive this bus; however, there’s only so far I think we should push if the engine fails to work on its own.
The key is to keep your student’s options open
Many of these students will one day wake up and realize that there is life after high school. Some planning will help make this time more successful, especially if and when they decide that some type of post-high school education is important. Here are some steps to take with late bloomers:
- Take the SAT/ACT
Even if your teen is waffling about post-secondary education, they may well change their minds. If they decide to go back to college even a year or two out of high school, they may still need to provide standardized test scores, and taking the tests as a junior, still entrenched in classroom learning, will be better than having to go back and take them after a break from questions about geometry, algebra, and analytical writing. If they never use the test scores, oh well. Your teen wasted a few hours and a few bucks, but it’s a risk worth taking.
- Apply somewhere
Unless your child has repeatedly expressed an abject unwillingness to ever sit in a classroom again, they should apply somewhere. Perhaps a community college, a state school, or some other alternative that will potentially allow them to change their minds between the beginning of their senior year and May 1st (the date on which college deposits are generally due). This is an age of rapid change. The teen that starts their senior year in September may be a very different person from the teen who graduates in June.
- Don’t complete your child’s college applications for them–ever!!!!!
As a parent, it can be incredibly tempting to simply take charge of the process. But, don’t give in. You can plead, nag, reward, punish, cajole, or bribe even, but do NOT do the work for them. If your child cannot bring themselves to fill out a college application, should you really invest what might be thousands of dollars when they’re sending you a clear signal that they’re not ready?
Continue to support and remind your child that with education or training comes more potential for increased earnings. But, also remember that there is a significant percentage of the population that don’t want to go to college or doesn’t go to college right out of high school but who still go on to be very successful.
It may be terrifying to let your teen be in charge of their own future. But, remember that they will soon be adults. Your attempts to steer them in the right direction may be in their best interest. Ultimately, they will have to make their own choices in order for it to matter.
Late Bloomers: Why Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
The recent college admissions scandal showed the extent to which parents and students are obsessed with getting into high-profile universities and making the right connections to land an amazing job right after graduation. The stories of Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates — prodigies who became billionaires before the age of 30 — get a lot of media attention. Less attention is paid to those whose success comes a little later in life. Forbes publisher and columnist Rich Karlgaard considers himself one of those people — a late bloomer. He’s the author of the new book, Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement. He visited the [email protected] radio show on SiriusXM to share his story and discuss the power of maturity. (Listen to the podcast at the top of this page.)
An edited transcript of the conversation follows.
[email protected]: Why do you consider yourself a late bloomer?
Rich Karlgaard: Despite having graduated from Stanford back in the day, when it was a much easier institution to get into than now, I barely got through college. And at age 25, when my college roommates were doing amazing things — one was at Stanford Law School, one was getting his master’s in chemical engineering at Penn, and another was getting his doctor of divinity degree at a theological institution — I was capable of handling a job no greater than security guard. I remember a low moment: I’m 25 years old and a Stanford grad, mind you. I had a security guard job at a trucking yard, and I was walking the perimeter with my flashlight and heard a dog barking. I looked across the fence at the yard next door and realized that their security guard was a Rottweiler. It suddenly occurred to me that my professional colleague was a dog. And months later, Steve Jobs would take Apple public. So, there was quite a gulf between where I was and what some of these super-achievers were doing.
[email protected]: There are benefits to early achievement, but you also talk about the fact that it puts an incredible amount of pressure on younger individuals who probably don’t need that pressure.
Karlgaard: I’m all for early achievers. I applaud them. I may admit to a little bit of jealousy about their early achievement, but people like Mark Zuckerberg who go out and do great things at an early age are really adding a lot to the United States. I just don’t think it’s the appropriate path for everybody.
“I’m all for early achievers. I applaud them. I may admit to a little bit of jealousy [but] … I just don’t think it’s the appropriate path for everybody.”
You think about over the last 20 years how important getting into an elite institution has become, and this college bribery scandal, in a way, is just the logical and perverse conclusion of this insane pressure. We’ve constructed this conveyor belt, and affluent parents can put their kids in preschool at age 3 or 4 and spend $40,000 a year. The websites of these elite preschools make no bones about the fact that you’re doing this so 15 years later your kid can get into an Ivy League or Stanford or MIT or some institution like that. Well, that’s fine if your child happens to be one whose gifts are revealed by what I call the “early achievement conveyor belt” that puts emphasis on testing and getting 4.3 grade averages with advanced placement courses. That’s a system that will reveal the strengths of some people — your rapid algorithmic giftedness, your ability to focus, your determination. Again, all great early achievers have that. But there are so many gifts that go undiscovered.
You think about some kid who might have the potential of being the greatest carpenter in his city, but all he knows is that he’s stupid because he gets poor grades and he tests poorly. When you step back and look at some of the issues that students and teens and young adults are grappling with today, you see the rising rates of anxiety, depression and, tragically, suicide — they’re all going up. The pathway of getting onto the conveyor belt to early success clearly does not work for everybody, and it causes a lot of harm for many.
[email protected]: Every parent worries about the future for their kids. In the wake of what we’ve gone through economically in this country over the last decade, I think there’s even a higher level of concern.
Karlgaard: There’s no question about that. If you look at the only sure bets over that period, they’re in two fields. They are in Silicon Valley kinds of technology, and they’re in Wall Street hedge funds and the high end of finance. Those are really lucrative fields. Those two fields screen for where you went to school, how well you did on your tests. When Amazon was a smaller company, [founder] Jeff Bezos would ask applicants, “What did you score on your math SAT?” Sergey Brin and Larry Page at Google did the same thing.
You can see why, because that algorithmic giftedness is a real advantage for a software programmer. But think about all the gifts that unfold beginning in your middle 20s, when most of us achieve the full maturity of our prefrontal cortex, where we get executive functioning skills and we begin to become fully functioning adults. Things like curiosity, resilience, equanimity or the ability to stay calm under pressure — these are attributes that employers all say they want, and they are valued, and you can see why, because these are the kind of employees that will grow. But the dissonance is between how companies screen for their first hires and then what’s valued.
Even Google, which is kind of a math SAT oligarchy, or at least was in the beginning, has discovered that where you went to school and what your SAT scores are does not correlate all that strongly to how well you’re going to perform at Google. And after three years, it more or less disappears.
[email protected]: There is some interesting data out there about the fact that there are aspects of our development that really don’t kick in until our 30s and 40s. Is that part of the reason why we see this push in many cases to be late bloomers?
Karlgaard: I wish we’d see more of a push, more encouragement for late bloomers. By the way, this idea that we have unfolding gifts over the many decades of our lives is not my speculation. There was a terrific 2015 study led by Laura Germine at Harvard with a colleague at MIT, and they asked the question, at what decade of our lives do our cognitive abilities peak? It’s a really complex and intriguing answer. It depends what kind of cognitive intelligence you’re talking about. There are many of these forms of cognitive intelligence.
“The pathway of getting onto the conveyor belt to early success clearly does not work for everybody, and it causes a lot of harm for many.”
Sure enough, rapid synaptic processing speed, working memory, the things that make you a great software programmer or make you a very effective high-frequency trader on Wall Street, those peak in our 20s. But then in our 30s, 40s and 50s, deeper pattern recognition, empathy and compassion, communication skills — all the things you need to grow and be effective as a leader — come into play. Then in our 50s, 60s and 70s, a whole set of attributes that lead to what we might call wisdom come into play.
This suggests that when you’re thinking about a career, there’s actually an arc. You’re a technical specialist when young, you move up into the management rank, and then you become kind of the mentor and coach as you’re older. I think it’s very encouraging. But we’re not seeing the encouraging part in our rush to celebrate and emulate all of these early achievers.
[email protected]: Why don’t we see a greater acceptance, a greater push to recognize the late bloomers out there?
Karlgaard: I spent five years researching this book because I wanted every part of Late Bloomers to be defensible by science and research. I didn’t want to make a bunch of my own speculations. One of the things I discovered is that late bloomers tend to be the ones who find their own path that leads them to this magical place where late blooming occurs. And that’s the intersection of deepest talent, native talents and deepest passions, passions so deep you’re willing to sacrifice for them, which I would call a mission. When you arrive at that destination, and I hope that everybody has the chance to get there, then no longer do you feel pushed by society’s expectations. You feel pulled towards some greater destiny. You can endure and get the kinds of gifts like grit and perseverance that you might not have when you’re feeling like you’re being pushed by parents or by society’s expectations.
[email protected]: How does the education system play into both sides of this debate?
Karlgaard: If you look at best practices around the world, there are some worthy things that we can import into the United States, and there are some things that we desperately need to get rid of. I’ll get to that part first. This is so tragic I almost tear up thinking about it: 95% of the drug prescriptions for ADHD are given in the United States. How are we biologically different than other people around the world? It’s an insanity. Sure, there may be some small percentage of kids that need to be medicated. But as a default position simply because young kids aren’t able to sit still?
Finland offers a great example. They don’t start kids in school and begin teaching them reading, writing and arithmetic until they’re 7. They let these very wonderful young plastic minds develop their own curiosity before they sit them in a room and begin to teach them.
I’ve become a huge believer in gap years. That could be taking a gap year after high school and before college, it could be taking one before the sophomore and junior years. Gap years can cover a variety of things. In the Church of Later Day Saints, people go on a two-year Mormon mission generally between their sophomore and junior years. I highly endorse that, and I’m not a member of that church.
I’ve come to believe that countries that have mandatory military or civilian service have pretty good outcomes, and that’s not primarily why they do it. They do it for national defense reasons. But if you look at Israel, Switzerland and Singapore — to take three countries with a level of affluence similar to the United States — the outcomes for their young men and women are better than ours. Lower rates of drug addiction, lower rates of alcoholism, more focus. They’re building adults.
“I’ve come to believe that it was a tragic mistake to think that everybody should go to college.”
I’ve also come to believe that it was a tragic mistake to think that everybody should go to college. Everybody should have the opportunity to go to college. Not everybody should go to college, or at least right away. We’ve basically given up on the idea of a skilled trade track, or what we called in my day “shop class.” Only one out of 20 public high schools offer this today. You think about all these wonderful skilled trades out there today that intersect with technology and pay really good salaries. Good HVAC people, good welders — good people in a number of skilled trades who can go out and with a minimal investment in their education can be earning six figures in their early 20s.
[email protected]: Do you lay the blame for that at the feet of parents and the fact that they are pushing their kids?
Karlgaard: It’s tough to be parents today. I don’t want to point the finger at parents in any way because I think that they’re subject to so many pressures. Sure, I’ll point the finger at the ones that are bribing officials at universities to let their kids get into a college they otherwise couldn’t get into. But think about it, you grow up in a high-performance city or you grow up in a suburb where everybody’s educated and everybody wants their kids to be educated and have great careers. The dilemma for parents is, are we putting too much discipline on them, or not enough? My answer is, you really have to get engaged with your kids because some kids will respond to more discipline; other kids will rebel because they’re sensing that they’re being disciplined into areas of their weakness rather than their strengths.
I think parents will have to step up. I think educators will have to step up. What I was hoping to do with this book was to start a national conversation around the dysfunctions that we’re creating among teens and young adults, but at the same time highlight that all the emerging neuroscience and cognitive science points solidly to the fact that we have multiple decades in which to come into our own.
[email protected]: In the book, you bring up the concept of quitting. Can you explain that?
Karlgaard: In our culture, I think that we’ve overdone this idea that quitters never win, winners never quit, and you must apply your grit to all things at all times. Grit is a wonderful thing to have, as Angela Duckworth pointed out. But grit misapplied will burn us out. If you look at great entrepreneurs, [Virgin Group founder] Richard Branson’s quit a lot of businesses. He quit Virgin Cola. He quit Virgin Brides.
One of my favorite examples in Silicon Valley, where I live, was the internal debate that occurred at Intel in the 1980s when their original product and their profit-maker, memory chips, were suddenly getting knocked down on their butts by Japanese and South Korean memory chip manufacturers. But they had this new, very promising product that had been around for a dozen years called the microprocessor.
“In our culture, I think that we’ve overdone this idea that quitters never win, winners never quit, and you must apply your grit to all things at all times.”
The internal debate was, do we quit the memory chip business? Bob Noyce, one of the founders, didn’t want to quit. [Co-founder] Andy Grove said, “We have to quit.” And then they had a discussion: If we were bought by another company or by outside investors, what would they tell us? [Co-founder] Gordon Moore said, “Well, they would fire us and then they would get out of the memory chip business.” So that’s what they did. Then Intel had a glorious late 1980s, 1990s, and still is a great company today.
So yeah, you have to quit. You have to know when to strategically quit. That’s not the same as saying that your first response to any adversity is to quit. But I think we have to have a realistic view of when quitting is appropriate.
[email protected]: Does this relate to self-doubt, which you also touch on in your book?
Karlgaard: Pop culture tells you to throw your shoulders back, puff it up, fake it till you make it. I think you need to learn how to use self-doubt as an adviser. You need to wall it off from your sense of self-worth, step back, look at it clinically. When the dark clouds of self-doubt come in, what is that self-doubt telling you? How do you deal with it rationally, as you would if you were coaching somebody you like?
Sociology of Educational Late Blooming on JSTOR
American norms for the proper timing of events are reflected in a preference for academic achievement “on schedule.” Unlike most other societies with formalized education, however, we also tolerate educational late blooming. The preference for blooming “on time” may be explained by the positive social functions of scheduling educational success. Such rigidity in the American experience, however, would run counter to the value we place on higher education as a medium for equality of opportunity and would threaten the existence of many institutions of higher learning that serve specialized markets. While the American tolerance for educational late blooming has created opportunities not found in other societies, late blooming may also have the latent dysfunction of encouraging “temporal loafing.”
Sociological Forum, the official journal of the Eastern Sociological
Society, is a peer-review journal that emphasizes innovative articles developing
topics or areas in new ways or directions. While supporting the central interests
of sociology in social organization and change, the journal also publishes
integrative articles that link subfields of sociology or relate sociological
research to other disciplines, thus providing a larger focus on complex issues.
Building on the strength of specialization while stressing intellectual convergences,
this publication offers special opportunities for using the techniques and
concepts of one discipline to create new frontiers on others.
Springer is one of the leading international scientific publishing companies, publishing over 1,200 journals and more than
3,000 new books annually, covering a wide range of subjects including biomedicine and the life sciences, clinical medicine,
physics, engineering, mathematics, computer sciences, and economics.
Late Bloomers Blossom, Too: Back to School and Life at 25
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Overcoming Life’s Unplanned Obstacles, Taking a Chance and Emerging a Winner
Three years ago, when I was twenty-five and a newly-enrolled college freshman (yes, you read that right), it was obvious that I was not your typical eighteen-year-old carrying a sheaf of spiral notebooks and fresh set of pens on her first day of classes. But I don’t really have your typical life story, either.
Prior to that, I had planned for my “life schedule” to be nothing but typical and run like clockwork. For my high school friends and me, college seemed like the no-brainer after our senior year exams and SAT tutoring – degree, job, family, and real life would then ensue. And ten years ago, when I was a fresh-faced eighteen, I was an excited, audacious high-school student, determined to study a quirky blend of musical theatre and religious studies in my upcoming college career and then set my sights on Broadway.
The world of higher education, I envisioned, was going to be a magical world of “independence.” I could finally live on my own, have a social life, go to the kind of parties I saw in teen movies, and feel like a real-live adult. I dreamed of getting a degree in the arts and becoming a teacher, writer, artist, actress — anything I set my mind to, really.
So how did I get to the advanced age of someone in their mid-twenties, setting foot on a campus – cautiously – for the first time, in a long-delayed bid to get a degree? Life has a funny little storyboard: you think you know exactly how things will turn out or how you’d like things to turn out. But crisis had intervened in the meantime, and my path would become much more meandering and turbulent than I ever expected.
A Straight Set-Out Path? Not Quite
What I had never anticipated was that unexpected and frighteningly sudden medical circumstances – terrible, life-threatening digestive issues –would freeze my life in its tracks when I eighteen.
I awoke from a coma, very hazily, to see medical staff darting about, frantically trying to keep me alive. My first conscious memories were bits of sound and blurry sights as I tried to piece together what had happened to me. I eventually learned from doctors that I would be in the ICU for an indefinite amount of time and that their medical team had fought to save my life. I could hear these words, but my “self” was still frozen as a high school student. The first thing I asked, in the most endearingly clueless way, was, “What about college?”
Starting from Square One
The answer to that was that college was out of the question. Years of medical triumphs and setbacks followed and added up to a wealth of life experience. Always a creator and busybody by nature, I went on to do more in my “sick” years than most people do in their lifetime: I had founded a chocolate business, wrote and starred in a one-woman show about my life, mounted art shows, taught nursery school, and most importantly, I was alive. But something still felt empty.
What was it? College — I wanted college. At twenty-five years old, I had never received that degree of which I had dreamed. I had never even been to a Friday night, red-plastic-cup-in-hand campus party. I had gained so much in the meantime and had accomplished three resumés worth, but I still felt like there was something I was missing out on. Like somewhere, my life had left off. That it was a story that that I just wanted to finish.
When Is It Too Late?
So I thought, “Is it really too late?” Had I missed the boat with a few years passing? Then I thought of the practicalities. At twenty-five, how was I going to feel surrounded by a bunch of eighteen-year-olds? How would I feel being on a campus for four years? And the ever-circulating question in my head: Is this really going to get me somewhere?
So I had to think about what I wanted out of this experience. At age twenty-five — and with a load of real-life experience under my belt — what did I want to gain from college and a degree? College certainly, at this point, wasn’t to stay busy or to get a job. I had gotten through years of medical trauma and uncertainty by accomplishing feat after feat, which was also how I rediscovered myself, but I was hungry for a different kind of experience.
I just simply wanted the opportunity to know “what else” was out there, to see what I had missed out on. I wanted to expose myself to diverse interests, meet people from all over, study subjects I didn’t even know existed. College seemed like a huge, unknown realm of endless possibilities, where I could graduate with unexpected, newfound inspiration.
Despite this sense of uplift, feeling the occasional downward pull of doubt, I asked myself, “If not now, when?”
When I couldn’t give a good enough answer, I knew it was time to start browsing colleges online. Then it took a bunch of courage and getting past a lot of inertia to decide that after years of an “education in real life,” I wanted to go through the entire college application process again.
So, what followed was months of printing out college applications, submitting forms, and re-writing college essays. Reflecting on what years of medical disappointments and frustrations had ultimately done to my spirit, I titled my essay “Keeping Hunger Alive.”
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Dreaming (Then Reality Intervenes), and Then a Dream Finally Becomes Real
How has it turned out? When I was confronted with medical trauma in the blink of an eye, I re-routed my life on an alternate pathway of creativity and healing, branching out from my original plan to study performing arts. And going back to college at age twenty-five has given me an even wider array of colors to paint my life’s path with. I feel as though my vistas are much more boundless. In effect, I’ve reawakened and regenerated my thirst for knowledge.
I plan on graduating with a degree, but that’s not my main concern. What’s more important: I’ve given myself the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas, people, subjects and stimulation. I’ve networked with career counselors, learned how to make a tattoo, met kids from other countries, and the best thing of all – I’ve put myself out there.
I’ve just turned twenty-eight, and I’ve experienced even more highs and lows in the three years since I started college. I’ve been frustrated by more disastrous surgeries and have also been overjoyed by planning the wedding of my dreams. But what amazes me the most is that I’m really in my second year at Hampshire College! I’ve written a three-act play about my story, I’ve taught art to children, and I continue to study art education; I’ve also learned how to make puzzles, created sculptures, studied Asian performance art, and have even become well-versed in psychology.
Late Bloomers Still Bloom
I’ve shown myself that it’s never too late…for anything. That even late bloomers bloom, and in the most beautiful spring colors.
Of course, there are also real-life matters to figure out as I finish my final two years of college. I’m discussing with my husband how we will handle being apart while I continue my education and make a two-hour commute every week. But I feel so lucky to have the chance to learn and get my education at twenty-five.
In my final poetry session at Hampshire, my professor used me as an example for the class. I was the only one gabbing on and on about a poem, and he asked why more students didn’t volunteer their opinions. I responded, “Professor – in the class’s defense – I feel like a kid in a candy store going to college at age twenty-eight. If I had just been through eighteen years of school and had to go right to college and concentrate some more, I think it’s possible I wouldn’t give a hoot what you were saying!”
What I was trying to articulate, I think, is what psychology calls cognitive reframing – that actually my long-delayed college student status had turned out to be a gift— far better, in fact, than if things had gone as I had originally planned.
It’s true. I almost feel like I’m sneaking my hand into a big jar of candy, reaping the sweet rewards of learning from inspiring, amazing professors, students and ideas – and knowing that as a teen, I probably would not have cared as much. Now, at this age, I’ve also got real-life experience behind me to really put into action what I’m learning in textbooks. In effect, there is a “context” behind my professor’s lectures. I’ve always been interested in the arts, creativity and working with others, and now I’m gearing myself towards a degree in expressive therapies – an amazing way to integrate my love of the arts with education and a way to help others heal, as I have healed from my own terrible trauma. All because of life’s crazy interventions…and college!
I’m so grateful for these forced “gap years.” It’s better late than never – and sometimes, it’s just better late.
Late Bloomers Archives – JeannieBurlowski.com
You’ve heard that two years of tech school education could get your kid straight into a well-paying career as early as age 20.
Still, you hesitate to even suggest it. Mostly because you’ve always thought of your child as college material.
How about this radical idea—doing college and tech school
In many states, it’s possible for a student to earn a 4-year college bachelor’s degree and a two-year tech school degree—both—by age 22.
Students who do this can earn extra job qualifications that put them in hot demand for well-paying jobs for a lifetime.
(Plus—help the world overcome its dire shortage of workers skilled in the trades.)
How can students complete both tech school
and college by age 22?
Students, consider this strategy:
1. While you’re still in 10th grade, find out if you can take dual enrollment college courses while you’re in 11th and 12th grades.
Do this, and you could earn two years of high school credit and two years of real college credit at the same time. (In many cases, with the state you live in footing the entire bill!)
Many students who do this are able to walk across their high school graduation stages with 2-year associate’s degrees already completed—debt-free at state expense—while still enjoying the full high school experience.
No one ever asks these high school students if they’re college material—because at age 18 they’re already halfway to the 4-year college completion finish line!
(To learn your state’s rules regarding dual enrollment, google the name of your state along with the words “dual enrollment.”)
If you’re already past 10th grade and you wonder if it’s too late for you to use this strategy, do this.
Whatever age you are now, go to your nearest high school guidance counselor and ask, “Can you help me figure out how I can squeeze the maximum number of dual enrollment college courses into the rest of my high school career?” (Be prepared to argue that AP is not the same as dual enrollment.)
2. Start thinking early on about what kinds of tech school programs might be fun to pursue.
Quit worrying about “following your passion.”
Watch the short video here to understand why “follow your passion” is some of the worst career advice ever.
Go to a tech school near your house and ask what kinds of skilled job training programs they have available. (Tech schools have a wide variety of offerings you’ve likely never thought of before.)
Continue Reading »
90,000 College Admissions – 2021 – Ucheba.ru
We will help you choose the profession of your dreams and successfully enroll The program of comprehensive career guidance for adolescents for admission to the best universities and colleges. Learn about program
Calendar of admission campaign
This year’s college application is open until August 15th. Until March 1, colleges will post admission rules, conditions for paid employees and state employees, a list of entrance examinations, specialties and professions on their websites and information stands.Until June 1, the number of budget and paid places, as well as the number of places in hostels, will become known.
|June 20||Start of acceptance of documents for the 1st year|
|August 10||Completion of the acceptance of documents from applicants passing the additional creative or professional exam|
|August 15||Completion of acceptance of documents from applicants entering without entrance exams|
|Before December 1||Extension of the acceptance of documents from applicants, subject to availability|
Each college sets the terms for admission to full-time, part-time and paid places independently.
Reception of applications
From this year, colleges are required to accept applications, including in a distance form. Applicants can choose their preferred option for submitting documents:
- in person at the selection committee;
- on the college website, college email;
- by mail through a postal operator;
- through regional portals of state and municipal services (for Moscow colleges – through the Official website of the Mayor of Moscow).
Colleges accept 9th and 11th grade graduates. To go to college, applicants do not need to provide the results of the OGE and USE. It is enough to submit an application and provide a certificate of completion of 9 or 11 grades. Competitive selection of freshmen is carried out according to the average score of the certificate. The better the student did in the last year at school (grade 9 or 11), the higher his chances of being enrolled in a budget place.
The exception is a number of specialties of secondary vocational education that require certain creative or professional qualities.This year, a new specialty has been added to the list – “Theater and Audiovisual Technique”.
Specialties for which you need to take entrance exams
|Directions and specialties||Complementary Exam|
||General physical fitness|
||Drawing / painting / composition|
||Creative exam / audition|
Last year, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation granted colleges the right to decide for themselves whether to conduct additional exams for these specialties or not.At the same time, it was recommended to organize internal tests in an online format using remote technologies. This year exams will be held both in person and remotely.
For many years, the most difficult to access specialty for college applicants is “Economics and Accounting”. Budgetary places here remain the prerogative of specialized financial colleges and financial and economic colleges at universities. Since there are few budget places, the passing score is “off the charts”.For example, last year, to enroll in the Moscow Financial College at the Financial University, it was necessary to demonstrate an average score of 4.85, to the College of Multilevel Professional Education of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration – 4.78, and the Moscow Industrial and Economic College of the PRUE. In general, Plekhanov accepted only excellent students, the passing score here was 5.0. A similar situation has developed in the specialty “Law and Organization of Social Security”. Budget places here are open only in colleges at specialized universities; for admission, an average certificate score of at least 4.8 was required.
It is a little easier to enroll in IT-directions, there are much more budget-funded places than in economic and humanitarian specialties. For example, many colleges accepted schoolchildren with a more modest certificate for Information Systems and Programming. For example, the Polytechnic College. N.N. Godovikova (from 4.3), College of Automation and Information Technology No. 20 (3.3).
The easiest way to enter the technical and technological areas, for example, “Maintenance and repair of engines, systems and car assemblies”, “Technology of public catering products”, “Technology of aesthetic services”.The passing score here ranges from 3.5 to 4.2.
Often, applicants from the regions and the Moscow region who enter Moscow colleges are faced with the problem of a lack of hostels. Historically, unlike universities, colleges rarely have a hostel. Most often it is provided by colleges at state universities, sports and theater schools, as well as many non-state colleges. Follow the link to find an up-to-date list of Moscow colleges with a hostel.
Benefits of going to college
Public colleges are free to study. In many areas of secondary vocational education, the volume of the budgetary department is very impressive. For example, this year Moscow colleges have opened more than 1000 budget-funded places for the specialty “Chef, Confectioner”, 600 places for Construction, 500 places for Design, 200 places for Hairdressing Technology.
Enrollment in most specialties of secondary vocational education is carried out on the basis of the average score of the certificate.It is enough to submit an application and provide a certificate of completion of 9 or 11 grades.
Practice and employment
The program of secondary vocational education in the specialty is more focused on practice than the program of universities. Up to 50% of college time is devoted to practical training. All colleges cooperate with the basic enterprises of their industry, where students undergo practical training and internships. All colleges guarantee their graduates 100% employment in partner companies.
College students receive additional benefits in the form of various social benefits. Full-time students are eligible for reduced price meals and reduced travel on public transport (student pass). A scholarship is paid.
Cups and sections
In all educational institutions there are associations and sections where you can both get additional qualifications and choose a program of interest, for example, programming, photography, English.Colleges also offer their students a large selection of sports clubs.
Accelerated education at a university without the exam
Many college applicants consider secondary vocational education as the first stage of a bachelor’s degree. College graduates are eligible to continue their studies at an accelerated program. They enter the university on the basis of the results of internal exams, without passing the exam.
We will help you choose the profession of your dreams and successfully enroll The program of comprehensive career guidance for adolescents for admission to the best universities and colleges.Learn about program
17 – 18 August 2020 introductory tests will be held for applicants entering the specialty 20.02.02 “Protection in emergency situations” in full-time format in compliance with sanitary and epidemiological requirements:
– Physical test in the form of physical education exam on the basis of the “Technical School of Industry Technologies” (sports stadium), Tambov, st. Ryleeva, 77.
– Psychological test in the form of testing for professional suitability on the basis of the “College of Engineering and Technology of Land Transport named afterM.S. Solntseva “, Tambov, st. Soviet, 193.
Schedule for passing entrance examinations in the specialty 20.02.02 “Protection in emergency situations”.
Distribution of applicants by groups.
Applicants who have submitted the original educational document (certificate) to the college are allowed to the entrance examinations.
Applicants (who submitted documents remotely) – who submitted a notification of their intention to study at TOGAPOU “College of Engineering and Technology of Ground Transport named afterM.S. Solntsev “(with confirmation that no notification of intention to study in other organizations and the obligation to provide the original document of education to the” MS Solntsev College of Engineering and Technology of Ground Transport “) has not been (will not be submitted).
A notice can be filed ONLY for one chosen profession (specialty) of the college to include you in the lists of applicants passing entrance examinations.
The deadline for the submission of these documents is August 12.The time of the entrance examinations and the lists of the formed groups will be posted on the main page website.
To all applicants!
On the day of passing the physical education exam, you should have: passport, receipt from parents (legal representatives), sports uniform.
On the day of testing for professional suitability, have with you: passport, mask, gloves, pen.
Phone for inquiries: +7 (475) 2533767
Forms for filling:
Notice of intent to study at TOGAPOU “College of Engineering and Technology of Land Transport named afterM.S. Solntseva “.
Receipt from the parent (Legal representative).
Moscow schools and colleges topped the rating of the children’s movement WorldSkills Russia
According to the results of the last academic year, 20 schools and colleges in Moscow were included in the top 100 educational organizations of the WorldSkills Russia junior movement.
Top-100 educational organizations of the WorldSkills Russia junior movement this year was formed for the first time. When compiling it, the participation of children from 12 to 14 years old in the championships of professional skills and thematic shifts “Specialized techno brigades” was taken into account. The rating includes educational institutions from 38 regions of the country. The capital topped this rating.
“The success of Moscow schoolchildren and students at WorldSkills championships of various levels – from urban to international – confirms the high quality of the capital’s education.This is proved by the inclusion of 20 colleges and schools of the capital at once in the federal ranking of the junior movement WorldSkills Russia. Moscow is systematically developing a system of personnel training required by the city. Therefore, even at school, students can decide on their future profession, undergo training in modern laboratories and are guaranteed to get a job in their specialty after graduating from college, ”said Alexander Tverskoy, deputy head of the Moscow Department of Education and Science.
The top 100 includes five metropolitan colleges: College of Architecture, Design and Reengineering No. 26, Moscow State Educational Complex, First Moscow Educational Complex, Moscow College of Management, Hotel Business and Information Technologies “Tsaritsyno” and Polytechnic College named after N.N. Godovikov, as well as 15 schools: No. 152, 444, 536, 854, 904, 1150, 1290, 1310, 1367, 1517, 2090, 2098, 2127, the Dmitrovsky school and the cadet boarding school No. 1 “First Moscow cadet corps “.
“The capital education system plays an important role in receiving such an award. Moscow colleges are provided with an excellent material base, thanks to which our children can study, practice, train for championships on high-tech equipment. Our teachers and mentors have the opportunity to regularly improve their qualifications, many of them are experts in competencies according to WorldSkills standards, which means that they immerse children in the world of professions and specialties more and more effectively, “said Igor Artemyev, director of the Moscow State Educational Complex.
By the way, the team of authors of the Specialized Technological Detachments program, participation in which became one of the criteria for compiling the rating, received an award from the Government of Russia in the field of education in September 2021. Director of the Moscow State Educational Complex Igor Artemyev became the laureate of the award.
“Today the city provides ample opportunities for students to develop their abilities using the most modern equipment. An IT training ground has been opened at our school, where children hone their programming skills to solve real problems in controlling robots and unmanned aerial vehicles.We have six learning profiles and each is enhanced with its own set of circles. The guys who achieved results in JuniorSkills are students of engineering and IT classes. The engineering direction is in great demand among our students, so this year we have opened two engineering classes, ”said Irina Akulova, director of school No. 444.
The WorldSkills Russia Junior Movement has been developing since 2017.