There’s an interesting story on page one of today’s Boston Globe that relates to our recent discussions about high schoolers and stress. Apparently, some kids who want to get into highly competitive colleges plan their summers around building their resumes.

Here’s an excerpt:

Children are going to $4,000-plus boot camps where they practice taking the SATs, and are spending sunny days inside, learning how to write code. Some parents are paying $275 an hour to consult professional summer advisers, looking for programs they hope will be attractive to admissions officers or at least lead to an inspiring personal essay on the Common Application.

Now let’s look at a (made-up) scenario:

You are a teenager who can’t afford these kinds of programs or you need to work during the summer or you want to savor some time off.  You know from Naviance that your #1 choice — let’s say Amherst College — takes, on average, x number of kids from your high school every year. You want one of those slots but you’re competing against someone who has been working at getting into college since elementary school.

There are two ways parents and schools can help:

1. Parents can chill out, look inward and realize that they’re making their children’s education about themselves, not their kids. (Magic 8 ball says: Highly doubtful).

2. Guidance counselors can help kids understand that life isn’t all about college and if they don’t get into their top choices, they’ll survive and do fine. They can emphasize that, for the most part, their success is not going to be determined by what college they attend; it’s going to be determined by what they do once they get to college.