I tell my students to enjoy themselves when they are taking the SAT. They assume that I’m kidding. I explain that I’m totally serious and that intense experiences— – such as putting yourself through a tough test— – are often the best part of life.
Intense experiences, by definition, are not easy. Engaging in Cross-Fit, Tough Mudders and marathons is grueling. But, each attracts a passionate following, largely because of the intensity involved. Our students in the beautiful areas along the shoreline of Connecticut who attend top high schools in Connecticut do not have natural opportunities to deal with intensity.
For example, while in Iceland, I listened to a speech by a photographer who took overhead pictures of Iceland’s erupting volcanoes. He relayed his account of crash landing into a volcano. When he and the pilot emerged– – intact— from the plane, – the pilot said, “this will be a great story when we get back.” The very next day, I was on a boat in the North Atlantic. To be clear, the trip was to go see puffins. It did not sound too adventurous for my wife, three young children and me. On the voyage, a storm set in, as did panic among the passengers. I looked at our ship’s stoical Scandinavian captain. She was implacable and told me that the ship’s rocking was all quite normal. There was nothing to worry about. We were going to engage in an intense experience that would be a great story when we got back.
Intense experiences are often the best part of life even if you don’t realize it at the time. So, strange as it sounds, tell your teens to go enjoy their time at the SAT.
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