#092 – Can College Pressure Convince Teens to Lie? A Conversation with Young Adult Novelist Tracy Badua

Tracy Badua, lawyer by day and novelist by night, joined Lynn and Vicki to talk about her new novel This Is Not a Personal Statement. The story follows a graduating high school senior who goes to some great lengths to attend the college of her dreams. Both students and parents will find in the book messages about the pressure of trying to be perfect and about discovering internal motivation and authentic identity. Tracy writes from her Filipino American background and infuses her characters with this rich cultural heritage. This Is Not a Personal Statement is a page-turner and a fun read for both students and parents and may spark meaningful conversations.

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This episode was was a little different as we were joined by Tracy Badua, author of a new Young Adult novel This Is Not a Personal Statement. Tracy’s novel follows a graduating high school student who is rejected by the college of her dreams (no spoiler here) and then follows her efforts to find a way to get try to turn that around and get admitted.  It’s a fun story to read but also has lots of food for thought for both students and parents about the pressure of the current college admission process. How far will students go to get into the college of their dreams?

Tracy was clear to remind us that she does not advocate students using this book as a “model” for how to proceed, but is meant to be a fun read. We covered a lot of topics in our wide-ranging conversation and Tracy shared some observations about admission pressure, dealing with failure, discovering our authentic selves, and the pressure many of us put on ourselves to be “perfect.” There are messages for parents as well as it touches on parental expectations and raises the question of whether students “owe” their parents anything as they plan their future.

This Is Not a Personal Statement is an entertaining (and at times stressful) way to understand more about how our students may experience the pressure of the admission process and trying to live up to everyone’s expectations and being perfect.

If you enjoy This Is Not a Personal Statement and want to read more by Tracy Badua, check out her newest middle-grade book The Takeout as well as Freddie vs. The Family Curse. 

As we often do, we asked Tracy whether she had any other books she would recommend. She suggested American Panda by Gloria Chao and Boys I Know by Anna Gracia.

Don’t forget that you can listen to all of our previous podcast episodes here or subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also go to followthepodcast.com/collegeparentcentral to add our podcast (it’s free!) so that you’ll receive each new episode as we release it.

Let us know what you’d like to hear about on future podcasts! Leave a comment below or email us at podcast@collegeparentcentral.com.

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