Guest Blogger Samantha: What I Wish I’d Been Told During Admissions Process

Feathers Are Easily Ruffled During Admissions Process

A little advice, from the trenches…

Try to keep your thoughts and plans to yourself during school application time.
I know you think it would be great if we could all go through this private school application process together; if we could embrace the “Sisterhood” we share as women and as Moms.  You think to yourself, “Hey, there’s enough of the “pie” for everyone, right? I’m not in competition with so-and-so…”
In a perfect world you’d be right.  It’s a nice world to want to live in.  I know.  I want it too.  It’s all animated birds, all the time.  Or, it can be, can’t it?
Remember this, people generally get weird when it comes to two subjects: money and their kids.  Not ALL people, but most of them, or at least enough of them so that you’d better watch yourself. 
It can be a minefield out there.
Now, I don’t want to be a downer, and I certainly don’t want to make you paranoid.  The whole applying to school process is stressful enough already!  But I do want to give you some wisdom – you’ll avoid less drama and hurt feelings if you minimize your discussions and involvement with other people regarding where you are applying to school, where they are applying to school, and where you both hope to get in.
In this game: No news is good news.  Ignorance is bliss.  Good fences make good neighbors.
During the stress of the application process, there is a lot less opportunity for feathers to be ruffled and general unpleasantness to permeate relationships if you play it a little close to the vest.
Now, some folks may think I’m wrong.  If you had a good experience with your friends and/or acquaintances applying to school, well then, hat’s off to ya!  Fantastic!
But, it’s been my experience that during application time, everyone gets into their own zone hoping for the best for their own kiddo, and during that process people might not be as thoughtful as they normally would be, or they might get a little socially clumsy, or sometimes, they might get even downright mean.  I’m just saying, it’s a possibility, so be prepared and try to dodge all that you can. 
It’s disappointing, I know, but I’d be doing you a disservice if I told you that the Blue Bird on my shoulder was real.

Samantha Goodman is the mom of a First Grader at Wildwood School and a preschooler at 10th St. Preschool in Santa Monica. Samantha’s son also attended 10th St. Preschool. Before her current parenting hiatus she was a screenwriter in Hollywood.
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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at

One thought to “Guest Blogger Samantha: What I Wish I’d Been Told During Admissions Process”

  1. I hear ya. This goes against my instinct to want to share–particularly throughout a stressful process like this. I like to think that things will work out how they're supposed to work out in the end. I also think of the Prisoner's Dilemma and the fact that we are generally better off when we share information (thus, the benefit of sites like these). And then I recall the post on this blog where a mom complained about another mom who successfully gained admission to school everywhere and gave a curt and purposefully unhelpful response when she was asked for advice–something like, "Johnny got Johnny accepted to school." It's a fine line. Maybe my personal guideline will be not to solicit or volunteer information, but if someone asks, I'll happily indulge.

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