Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A15. Am I Living Out My Parent's Dreams?

This seminar will explore the relationship between early life experiences/education and the goals we set for ourselves as adolescents and adults. We will approach this topic from several directions. Developmentally, we will look at the role of early life experiences to answer the following questions: How powerful are the interactions with one’s parents in shaping who we are as an adolescent or an adult? What role does school play in life and career choices? What is the impact of the peers with whom we interact throughout childhood? What impact did or do MCAS, SAT, GRE’s, and career tests (such as the teacher test, bar exams, and medical exams) have on a person’s choice of college and career paths?

One of the issues we will discuss is the “hurried child syndrome;” that is, the result of putting young children into competitive sports and academic preschools, forcing vocational choices on adolescents, and pressuring high school gradates to go to college right after high schools. We will also discuss peer relationships in middle and high school and how teasing and bullying can impact a person’s ability to make good choices. Other topics we will explore include discussing mentors you have had, experiences that changed the course of your life, and books, poems or movies that touched you in special ways.

Marge Werner
Director, Nursery School