Will Richardson linked to Girls, It’s Be Yourself, and Be Perfect, Too from the New York Times. The multimedia feature adds the photos and voices of these hard-driving teenagers. Like Will, I've got daughters too, and these stories are both encouraging (girls can do anything now!) and discouraging (girls feel they have to do everything now!) to middle-class dads like us who wish our girls could self-actualize without feeling the intense stress and pressure to conquer the world.
The focus of the article is actually more upper-class than middle, and economic concerns underpin the whole thing. This incredible drive to get into the best colleges seems to be all about landing plum jobs later and subsequent incomes to sustain a lifestyle they're used to.
"There is something about the lives these girls lead — their jam-packed schedules, the amped-up multitasking, the focus on a narrow group of the nation’s most selective colleges — that speaks of a profound anxiety in the young people, but perhaps even more so in their parents, about the ability of the next generation to afford to raise their families in a place like Newton."