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My Daughter Has No Work Experience. Will It Hurt Her College Applications?

by Valerie Newman

Hip, Hip Hooray! The early action application has been submitted! Moments before the deadline.

I can’t figure out how she found time to complete the application. 30 hours a week with marching band, hours on the high school’s website, the web club, Spanish club and Karate—I think those commitments leave just a few hours a day and I hope some of the are for sleep. I have no idea when she does homework, let alone college applications.

Fortunately, my daughter is only applying to a handful of schools. But of course, most of them don’t take the common application. And even the ones that do ask for supplemental essays.

Busy Student, But No Work Experience

After completing the question about extracurricular activity, she moved to the question asking for high school work experience. NONE. The space was left blank. And my daughter felt worried that she had nothing to include. I think she wondered whether she should have checked out college applications before she decided how to use her time. Maybe she would have gotten a job if she had known.

But how? As is, she barely has time to sleep or eat. I’m not sure what else she could have possibly sacrificed to squeeze in work.

I get tired just thinking her schedule. I stay up really late with her at night and wake up early with her each morning, but then I go back to bed for two hours. She jumps in her car and starts the same routine all over again. I worry about her ability to keep this pace and pressure.

Maybe next year will be better. On the other hand, she might be just as busy when she starts college, but she won’t be under my roof, so I can just fool myself into believing that she’ll be getting eight hours of sleep then and eating three meals a day. What I don’t know won’t hurt me.

Valerie Newman

Valerie Newman lives in Connecticut with her husband and two kids. When Valerie started mixing up her kid’s college applications with her mother’s nursing home applications, she knew she was part of the sandwich generation.