Earlier this week, my daughter hit “send” on her first few college applications. College admission these days is a brutal process. With some of the most competitive colleges admitting less than 10% of their applicants, it’s more important than ever that applicants stand out from the crowd.
My daughter’s application process has made me question what I could have done that would have eased her way. I’ve come to the sad realization that I may have missed the boat when she was a toddler. There are so many things I could have done that could have better prepared her for today’s hyper competitive college admissions environment. Unfortunately, it’s too late for her, but i hope the next generation can benefit from the lessons I’ve learned. So please share these suggestions with the parents of any toddlers you might know.
College Prep for Toddlers
Have your toddler give a TED talk. Colleges are looking for passion and expertise in their applicants. Nothing says “passion and expertise” as much as a TED talk. So have your toddler speak on topics she is passionate about. Possible subjects may include: “My Liberation Manifesto: Why Taking Your Clothes Off in the Grocery Store Is an Expression of Solidarity with the Oppressed,” “The Booster Chair Pollock: Creating Floor Art with Food During Lunch,” “Life Strategies: How to Temper Tantrum Your Way to Getting Anything You Want at Target,” and the evergreen toddler topic “Noooooo!” You will probably have to accompany your toddler to her TED talk as a translator because, let’s face it, only a toddler’s parents can understand what she is saying.
Train your toddler for the Olympics. Highly selective colleges love Olympic athletes. The good news is that toddlers are already surprisingly adept at certain Olympic events, so all you need to do is use their natural talents as a springboard to Olympic glory. For instance, every attempt to get your toddler dressed is a natural entree to Greco-Roman wrestling. Put a tray on a slide and you have a luge. Fight with her sibling? I see a judo medalist. A ride on a merry-go-round is the first step toward earning a gold in the 3 day equestrian event. And that melon your toddler hurled through the window? On her way to being a shot put champion. (Note: For some toddlers, you may want to exclude training for certain Olympic events from this plan. For example, training for archery and the javelin throw may only be appropriate for the most advanced toddlers.)
Have your toddler write the next Broadway smash. Colleges are always looking for applicants who have a passion for the arts. Fortunately, toddlers love to sing and dance. So all you need to do is help your toddler harness that creative energy and turn it into the next “Hamilton.” Possible titles for your toddler’s genre redefining musical include: “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bathroom,” “How to Succeed in Driving Your Sister Crazy Without Really Trying,” “The Sound of Shrieking,” and “The Phantom of the Opera Is in My Room, So I Must Sleep with You.” Your toddler can also incorporate innovative choreography such as jumping up and down in one place while screaming, spinning until she is dizzy and staggering like a drunkard, and running around the living room like a maniac until she smashes her head into an end table and cries. (Unsolicited advice — this last move should probably be reserved only for the very, very, very, very, very, very sad parts of the show. 😢) Then sit back and wait for your toddler to collect her first Tony.
Help Your Toddler Make a Scientific Breakthrough. Colleges love scientific geniuses. So what if Einstein didn’t speak until he was four? Your toddler can do better than Einstein! Toddlers are naturally curious and have been known to conduct their own groundbreaking experiments. For example, toddlers have made important discoveries in areas such as: How many peas can I stick up my nose?; How far can I projectile vomit?; What’s that floating in the bathtub?; and How long will I be required to thrash and wail until my parents meet my totally reasonable demands? There’s a Nobel Prize and an admission to MIT to be had in these experiments.
Have your toddler run for President. Oops! Too late! We already have a toddler running for President.
If you and your toddler put these helpful suggestions to use, in 15 years, she will be a shoo-in for her dream college. Now all you have to do is worry about how to save several million dollars to pay her tuition.
Follow me on Facebook or on Twitter @yourmomsguide.