Varsity Blues | Teen Ink

Varsity Blues

July 31, 2019
By DORISLI GOLD, Tilton, New Hampshire
DORISLI GOLD, Tilton, New Hampshire
10 articles 0 photos 0 comments

20 years ago, the movie Varsity Blues, which presents how a high school boy carries the aspiration of the entire town and leads his football team to success, was released. 20 years after, Operation Varsity Blues is named for FBI investigation for the illegal college application process in the United States. A huge number of people, including coaches, celebrities, and actresses, are being prosecuted for their involvement in the cheating scheme to get unqualified children into top colleges. Wealthy parents help their kids cheat on college entrance exams, such as SAT and ACT, and fabricate roles in school sports programs. The Operation Varsity Blues unfolds the cold fact that the core value of being responsible parents is ignored and misinterpreted. Helicopter parents, who take an overprotective interest in the life of their children, should never be a good role model for parents. As the college application process is significant for students, college counselors should guide parents to fulfill their roles correctly for several reasons. 

First, parents always ignore the fact that the top colleges are not the best choices for everyone. It is undeniable that the top colleges generally have outstanding professors and resources, but those should not be what parents and students only look for. Students will spend the most valuable years in college to enrich their academic knowledge, develop career interests, and build life-long relationships. A comfortable environment and school culture that could enable students to achieve their goals are more important than the simple number in the world college ranking. Different students have different characteristics and pursuits, thus they are suitable for different kinds of colleges. The excessive expectation from parents will only exert more unnecessary pressure and anxiety on their children. For example, in the Varsity Blues scandal, Olivia Jade, the daughter of Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, has claimed that she never enjoys her college life at USC and her top one interest will always be her Youtube Channel, not college. Her parents have spent tons of dollars to manipulate her scores and resume and concoct her role as a competitive rower in high school. Although she has been admitted to USC, she never involves much in college life and has to suffer tremendous public shame after the scandal. As a result, parents should not blindly seek high-ranking college at the cost of their children’s healthy development. The college counselors should assist parents in recognizing the role colleges play in children’s lives and making reasonable choices in the college application process. 

Second, helicopter parents, in fact, exert more negative effects on their children than the positive ones. They pay too much attention to every aspect of their children’s life: they choose “good friends” for their kids, they arrange extra remedial classes to make their children perform better in school, they never allow their kids to do any dangerous activity. All of the parents in the Varsity Blues scandal are helicopter parents. They have high expectation of their kids and pave the way for them in order to reduce their pressures and package them as elites. However, these children will be less independent and competent in the future, which is harmful to their development. Parent’s excess interference deprives children of valuable opportunities to experience personally. The college application process is a good chance for students to practice skills that are indispensable in real life. Keeping students completely out of this process leads them to become more dependent on their parents, thus losing the ability to solving the problems by themselves. Benjamin Franklin once said, “tell me, I may forget; teach me, I may remember; involve me, I will learn.” The development of children is a process of keeping trying, keeping making mistakes, and keeping accumulating experiences. The helicopter parents seem to help kids leap over the tedious process and create a shortcut, but they actually add to the difficulties for their kids to succeed. The lessons deriving from personal experience are always more profound and meaningful than parental advice. The college counselors should encourage parents to give students more control of their own lives and to offer them more opportunities to face and overcome the problems. 

No parents are born to be parents. Parents need time to learn how to become more responsible. The Varsity Blues Scandals provide people negative examples of overprotective parenting. The lessons should be learned by all educators and parents. The students should walk their own way to college and handle the difficulties by themselves during the college application process. The college counselors are responsible to guide parents to correctly involve in children’s long-term progress. It is time for helicopter parents to let go.

The author's comments:

About cheating scheme "Varsity Blues" and an evaluation of parental roles in children's education

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