My son got admission to study first year engineering maths at a local Uni. He is very excited. I am not so pleased and I absolutely hate his school for pushing him like this. No doubt, his school is well renowned for overall academic achievements and that is precisely the reason why son wanted to go there.. but is this necessary?

Last term they gave my son a gold medal for scoring GPA of 6.5 (of 7) And the poor kid has not had a weekend free because he wants to ensure that he gets the gold medal this term and this will go on.. till he graduates grade 12. I can see how the school is manipulating the kids.. They set the bar so high.. Apart from the GPA cut off points which is already very high, they only gave the gold medal to kids who has the word ‘excellent’ for all the activities in the report( behaviour, homework etc) And now, he is been promoted to do Uni level maths. Of course this will help him to get admission to top unis as well as give him credits for the courses already done. (Yaya got 3 credits off for her Uni based on her IB score, which my son will get anyway). But at what cost?

My son hasn’t had a friend over in months. He hasn’t gone for his weekly swimming for the past 3 months. It is as if his life is kept on hold.. and he is only in grade 11. If it is this hard now, what will they do to my child in grade 12?

Ideally I would like to go to my son’s school and tell the Principal off. At least explain to her about work life balance.. But then she would tell me off… that she is not forcing my son to study there.. he chose it.

I don’t know what to do.

8 thoughts on “Uni

  1. True Sara! You answered this very difficult question that lot of kids and parents face today- what is good enough and how do we choose where we draw the line to excel? Even though the pressure comes from the society, ultimately it is our choice to take up the challenge.

    I see my kids and many kids of this generation study hard, harder than my generation ever studied, and have felt the same way as you…and have arrived at the same answer as you. Ultimately it is our choice to do this!

    I have great respect for kids today and kids of the future – while they may have it easier in some areas, they do work very hard and actually enjoy doing it.

    • SS: I am honestly scared..I didn’t mind the kids in extension programs when they were small.. it kept them out of trouble..but now, it is more demanding..and there is really no need.. If he took 5 subjects now or later, he is still going to get the same degree eventually.. why do we need to hurry them?

  2. Perhaps you are the only parent I know who is fretting over son taking advanced classes!! 🙂

    But you do make a good point about having some fun. Hard choice indeed. Do the usual.. Fret about it and then let him figure it out! You had a good problem at hand.

  3. Son’s pushing because he believes this part of his life calls for 4 eggs – broken, poured, mixed, whipped & scrambled. Feels it necessary on some level & believes the effort will result in a tasty progressive portion of life to enjoy. Great demonstration of commitment & investment by a young dude. That’s choosing to walk in big fields of sacrifice. Sure to miss some friends & swimming & dreaming in periods such as this – but they come at times & should, right? Hopefully it pays big dividends in personal growth. Sadly, it often results in just developing the bad habit of missing life while believing the fallacy that one must keep breaking, whipping, sweating, toiling. The trick is not allowing such focus to permeate every aspect of life such that one can’t feel to be living appropriately unless they are constantly breaking eggs to scramble; when there are so many wonderful egg recipes prepared in a variety of ways.

    For him to push so hard this young is an innate thing. Just him being him in those finding-my-individual-independent-self formative times, right? He’s getting to drive life more & liking it. I pray he finds that ever elusive balance. Like a snow leopard or giant squid, however; most never see it – or if we do it’s in some nat-geo documented life experience of another … or too late altogether, as it washes up lifeless on some beach.

    Sounds like you made your own good investments in his life. Be at peace & let’em do their good mom voodoo as they bounce off the walls of his mind & soul for the rest of his days. They’ll resonate & he’ll recall – & still be left to decide which path at each juncture – break or balance – but you gotta’ do something w/ those eggs to advance. I’m a dad & my son is 20 & juggling his eggs. He’s not me, however. He has trepidation where I’ve never hesitated to break. My hope is that we both continue to seek & draw closer to that balance. Peace there is in embracing the life-long truth of that quest.

    Don’t blame me – you started the egg, thing.

    As for measuring love … indeed, how could this be done and what would be the goal? I believe it can and indeed should be done at frequent junctures of life. I believe it critical to account for love as we go through each day. To note those times and instances when love was invested in our lives in forms of care and kindness that were life-giving and life-affirming. We don’t do this to ensure others are measuring up to our expectations for love – but instead to recognize and marvel at the extension of love in its many splendid forms. For there will surely come those days and circumstances when we may believe we see no evidence of love from those closest to us, and perhaps never did. To doubt the sincerity of love is to not allow for the fullness of love. If the love was genuine and we believed it when we savored it, then it is imperative to carry that measure of love recollected, into our time of relational trial.

    1 Peter 4:8 – Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

    Sorry, don’t mean to be all religious. I’m not a bible scripture tosser.

    … but if love covers over a multitude of sins, then it will surely serve to cover over colored perception and trying times of relational distance. Those cancerous views that wash over us when we are impressed that love has departed – or worse, turned against us. Genuine love will seek to find us. We may even mistakenly take its approach for that of an enemy. It is crucial that we trust in these times that love wants only to connect and bless and love us yet, more.

    I ran out of egg analogies.

    I found your camp by looking for a translation of Knopfler’s lyrics

    “Je suis désolé, mais je n’ai pas le choix
    Je suis désolé, mais la vie me demande ça”

    Thanks for the translation. You posted it in 2007 but it took me a while to find. I’m a slow browser. Didn’t mean to go long – thanks for sharing as it apparently resonated w/ me. Sons, eggs, life & love will do so. Be well!

  4. If your son chose it, then let it be!! There’s nothing wrong with it though I agree with you on the work-life balance part. Seems like he has the aspiration to succeed in this (and get the gold medal) and is willing to sacrifice as much as he can in order to achieve what he wants. And at the end he did succeed. He will definitely be described as someone who is hard working and self disciplined in that aspect 🙂

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