I’ve been reading Susan Cain lately. She’s the author of “Not Leadership Material” in the New York Times, and she’s become known as a cheerleader for quiet people, the introverts, and those who are often unnoticed.
Cain says that our society has outwardly rewarded and valued those who are the opposite of quiet, the extroverts, the noisy ones, those who talk first in a group, those who are often viewed as “the leaders”. I recommend her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, especially for parents of a quiet kid. In groups, the quiet ones, the ones who seldom speak up, or who put in their “2 cents” only after everyone else has spoken, get overlooked and, in some ways, undervalued.
So what does this have to do with choosing and getting in to college, you ask? If I were an extrovert, I’d say, “Don’t get me started on that topic!” I could talk (or write) all day on that!” But, I’m an introvert, so it’s much more comfortable for me to keep my comments brief.
What Does Quiet Have to Do With College Admissions
College admissions officers are looking for students to show leadership and involvement in and out of school. We tend to interpret this as meaning a “successful” student must be president of 7 organizations and teach dance outside of school and run a charity organization, all before the age of 17!
So what’s a bright and caring, but less outgoing, student to do? Celebrate! There ARE colleges, well known, highly ranked, and competitive colleges that welcome the quieter, less “storied” student.
Some “Quiet” (Yet Outstanding) Colleges
I just completed a tour of the “Ohio 6” private colleges geographically located between Columbus and Cleveland. Similar in their student-centered, research-oriented, mentoring approach, these colleges differ slightly in their degree of selectivity and academic offerings. For your reference, the Ohio 6 include (in order that I visited them): Wittenberg, Ohio Wesleyan, Oberlin, College of Wooster, Denison, and Kenyon.
More on Quiet-ness
Some of you would appreciate that I discuss the accolades of each college in this humble blog, but I’ve said enough for today. However, for more on the power within, check out the Quiet Revolution.