(Self)Motivated Early

Yesterday I called my mom’s house to have a not-so-brief chat and catch up. The person who answered the phone was one of my little sisters, age 14, who entered her freshman year of high school 6 weeks ago.

We had some small talk and then she said, “[my nickname redacted], can I ask you something? I have a few questions for you.”


“Can you send me the books you used to study for the SATs?”

Me, shocked at how ahead of the curve she is, didn’t know what to say. “Um, sure. Except…the books I used are outdated because the SAT has changed since I was in high school.”


“But I’ll tell you what I can do. I will go on Amazon and poke around for some good study guides and order some and have them sent to you. That okay?”


“Good. Now tell me where you’re thinking of going to college…”

From there, she gave me her list of schools she wants to get into (“I am thinking Yale, Stanford or Princeton, but I will apply to Harvard and probably MIT as well.”) and then I tried to strategize with her about how to make herself a more well-rounded college applicant. The oldest of my younger sisters is super motivated. Quiet. Loves to read. Straight A student. Natural leader. I think the beauty of it all is that no one in my family has pressured her to be this way. She just…is.

My sisters are growing up so fast. When I was in high school they were just babies and toddlers. Now we have full on conversations about life planning. It trips me out.

7 thoughts on “(Self)Motivated Early”

  1. sometimes i wish i had younger brothers who are actually a lot younger than me. my brothers are only 20 months younger than me so we were in high school and college together. i could only impart a little bit of wisdom on them. good for your sister though. seems like she has a good head on her shoulders.

  2. * When I took the (old) SAT, I took a class. Even if she doesn’t take a formal one, it helps to have peers check you. Kaplan and Princeton Review make SAT falscards

    * “Nickname redacted” hmmm… Pookie? Sweet Cheeks? Chicken legs? Hmmmm…

  3. That’s amazing. I luv that drive, determination and motivation. It’s so refreshing. It’s so disappointed how many young people aren’t focused on their education and making the most out of their lives. I’m glad to hear your sisters aren’t taking that approach. The world needs more women like them.

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