That's really good to hear, intparent. My DD also tends to gravitate to stuff that just interests her-- not what seems like it will 'sell' well. She's busy, all right (hey, it's the run-up to fair, and she's a 4-H kid with several project areas), but hardly frenetic, in spite of how it sounds. We don't do the over booking thing, and we're pretty confident that the EC's that she does as social activities like RPG-tabletop gaming aren't going to even be on the applications.

What we've found to be true is that as much as we wish her age didn't matter-- it does. There is this underlying assumption that-- whatever she does-- we're somehow behind the scenes pulling her strings like a puppet. Bizarrely, she is judged WAY more harshly than typically aged peers, and her grade skips are counted as "lack of experience" in some ways, which boggles my mind. I mean, seriously-- how the heck is a kid who SKIPPED two grades since 5th grade supposed to have EC's for those years? She's done at least a third more than most of her peers every year, but the elapsed time is sometimes what matters anyway. "Oh, this kid has been doing this for six years." There's no real concept of how to handle the kind of compression that PG kids have to have academically. Scouting and 4-H have both proven problematic here, particularly whenever there is an "also" that specifies a lower limit on age. DD is a fair target shooter, but because she only JUST turned 14, she can't really do it through 4-H, because she'll get less than a year in the project.

This is a big reason why a college like UW that has a lot of experience with young PG students gets a huge bonus score in our personal ranking system. They stand to understand that being radically accelerated 3-4 y comes with some strange baggage on the side.

As I said earlier, we never really worried about all of this much because we figured that we were opting out and then-- well, then she started really considering what kind of intellectual peers she wanted/needed out of college. Then we took a hard look at just what kind of students are now the majority at even reasonably good public universities, and realized that she was going to be-- again-- at the 95th+ percentile or higher. Not good.

At the start of their junior year is NOT a good time to suddenly decide that you aren't opting out after all, because it leaves you all scrambling to document things and schedule everything that has to happen.

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.