Cal Newport has written an incredible counter-intuitive book which is a must read for middle school and high school students and their parents.
The premise of How to be a High School Superstar is that your child doesn’t have to sacrifice his or her life by joining silly clubs, taking endless AP classes, competing on every sports team offered and dominating student body elections. Newport interviewed many students who made it into their dream college by jumping off the workaholic assembly line and working less.
The secret – these successful students (and Newport was one) became unique. The top colleges require top grades and SAT scores as a threshold, but then they want uniqueness. Your child can stand out by being different – writing a book, starting and running a business or nonprofit, writing an app, creating software, teaching other kids, living in a foreign country – get the picture? And best of all, these unique activities are more fun, less time consuming and way more meaningful than the follow the herd achievement stock piling vortex many students get pulled into.
I highly recommend this book.