2015 has barely begun and already I can tell that it’s gonna be a doozy. Why, we’ve already had January, Month Of Eternal Sickness, and now we’re starting February, Month Of ZOMG PLEASE PUT ON A COAT. (You know how boys wearing shorts year-round is a thing? Here in Georgia, children facing 20-something-degree mornings but still refusing to wear a coat is apparently a thing. I am cold just looking at them.)
It recently occurred to me that if Chickie opts to apply to school somewhere via Early Action, we could know where she’s attending college before this year is over. Except that’s impossible, because she is my TEENY WEENY TINY SMUSHY BABY. Right? Right. That’s totally what I told myself when she was driving us home yesterday and I was calmly saying encouraging things like, “Try to stay on the road, honey.”
We’re gearing up to do some college trips very soon, so I wrote about it for Alpha Mom, because I’m beginning to realize this whole college selection thing is complicated. I mean, beyond just DO YOUR HOMEWORK I WANT YOU TO MOVE OUT SOMEDAY kind of complicated.
My oldest is in 8th grade so this is a while off for us, but I can imagine how exciting (and scary) getting to this point will be. Good luck helping her find a good fit.
I have one of those “getting acceptances” seniors, and let me say one thing to you: No matter what happens, you will feel like you could have/should have done more. You should have pushed her harder so that she’d have the SAT scores to get in where she dreams to go (and by YOU, I mean MEâ€¦in all of this); you shouldn’t have pushed her so hard, so that she could enjoy the process of getting an education without being stressed all the time. You should have told her to look at a wider selection of schools; you should have helped her focus. You should have taken her to see more places; you should have narrowed down the field so she doesn’t feel so overwhelmed. I can’t tell you what a roller coaster this is, as a parent, much less as the kid riding it. For me, the truth is that it’s all about letting go, and how it’s NOT actually up to me which school she prefers (though it is up to me to pay for it, and so yes, there are limits to what schools she can ACCEPT, though not to which ones she can apply for, being that there are indeed scholarships and such out there).
In other words: I feel you. Hang in there. It gets worse before it gets better. Try to keep your eyes on the prize: a good education for your kid, and the start of an amazing life. And if the first choice is the wrong one? She can make another. Happens all the time.
My son is only 10, but I want to print out this comment for when it is our turn! Great perspective!
For all those with younger kids…it’s never too early to start the conversation. Admission tours are free and they are happy to accommodate rising freshmen and sophomores as well as rising junior and seniors. Early information can help inform high school course choices and you can rule some schools in/out early on, even with something as simple as not liking the “feel” of the campus.
One bonus, many colleges/universities offer summer experiences for high school students, as young as current freshmen. This is a way to experience the place before the decision is much more binding (yes, you can transfer elsewhere, but it can be a hassle!)
You don’t know the half of it yet! Enjoy watching her (not) fill out those applications on time and join me in wondering whether those colleges are trying to ruin our Christmas on purpose.
My 16yo daughter just got her license. Today is her first day to drive herself to an appointment after school. Riding with her is … well, your comment made me laugh because I can SO relate. “Honey, could you not drift to the right quite so much?” and “the light is yellow there’s time to STOP!”. Can’t imagine filling out college applications – not ready, though she gets solicitations in the mail every day. Good luck to you!