She came into my room last week and asked if I would write her a letter of recommendation for college admissions.

I agreed, and told her she needed to get some rest.  I could tell.  I taught her last year, and she was one of those kids.

You know the type: driven, outgoing, ambitious, funny, smart.  I loved the luck that landed her in my class.

She came into my room today with an updated resume.  She still hasn’t slept.

I told her she needed to rest.

“I know, I know, but I just want to get this college stuff figured out,” she said.

We talked for a while about her college conundrum, and I tried as best I could to tell her that everything would work out, that she would be fine no matter where she did her undergrad.  But she seemed unconvinced.

I would have been, too, when I was her age.  Twenty years ago this month, I was more concerned with what my boyfriend was going to do after graduation than with what I wanted to do with my life.  After all, I knew where my life was headed: professional musician.  I could do that anywhere.  I don’t remember feeling the stress about college that the girl in my room today was feeling.

Has it gotten worse in the past twenty years?  Are we expecting too much from these kids?

I’m starting to think we are–when a 17 year old girl has to sacrifice sleep to meet all her obligations, there is something wrong with the system.  I just don’t know how to go about fixing it.

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