Looking back at my life and those of my friends, the choice of one’s spouse is easily the most significant life choice (mutual choice, of course!).
The choice to have children and the number of children, within that decision, is next.
Career choice is likely third.
College choice is likely fourth, even ahead of where to live, which is likely fifth.
College choice often has a significant impact on career and also where someone lives. Indeed, given that so many people meet their spouses in college and/or seem to meet people post-college due to running in the same college circles (Ivy league grads tend to marry one another, as do grads from Big Ten schools, those who went to college in Boston and so forth), the link between college and marital choice is also significant.
Given the significance to life design, college madness does make some sense. Not the crazy parts, but the understanding that for most Connecticut high school students, college is the biggest choice point that they will have made in their 18 years of living.
While doing your best to be keep perspective – it is awesome that we live in an affluent part of Connecticut that makes college possible for most – your focus on ensuring admission to colleges of choice is worth the effort.
In most cases, grades, test scores, and activities in that order are what matter. Being excellent at each will help ensure that one of life’s big choices turns out optimally for your child.