Do we have a mental health emergency among today’s youth? The Surgeon General just said so. And, this is one of those rare areas that is not a partisan issue.
A few years ago, I saw one of my college classmates who lives in a different part of Connecticut last year around this time. His daughter is applying to college. We were discussing college and SATs in general. They noted that their daughter was really stressed. I suggested that they start SAT test prep as soon as possible. My friend’s wife – who is a very nice woman – disagreed and thought they should simply deemphasize the test through avoidance. “We don’t want to stress her out…” she explained. So we’ll just let her take the test without test prep.
I did not see my old classmate again until the summer. As might be expected, the unprepared daughter did not do well on the March test. But, instead of then digging in for SAT prep, his wife again suggested that she simply skip taking the May/June test. “Junior year was stressful. She was playing a sport. I didn’t want to add one more thing that causes anxiety…”
Now, my friend and his wife were panicked. Their child only had one bad SAT score from the spring. She had to do well on the October SAT. ( As for their daughter, she was angry at them for not forcing her to take an SAT class! The teen mind! But she argued that “she would have taken an SAT class” had they insisted.
As it is with most everything in life, preparation reduces anxiety. Start SAT prep in January.