Parenting 101, College Tour Edition

Call this the Summer of the College Tour. We did one last week, one today, and have one scheduled for tomorrow and one next week. And that’s not all! I’m sure there will be more when Middle Sister does a little more research into the schools she might want to attend.campus_tour750

She’s approaching this very differently than Big Brother did. Of course, none of my kids ever approaches anything the same way a sibling does. It’s different every time. I have to keep remembering that.

There are other things I have to remember too, like letting her “digest” the day before quizzing her on whether she liked the school rather than starting in on the interrogation the second we get back into the car.

Today’s tour was easier than last week’s tour, because Little Brother is at camp this week. So we don’t have an 11-year-old tagging along, vacillating between total boredom (can we go HOME now?) and complete excitement (a basketball court! a soccer field! comfy chairs! donuts! where do I sign?) with a little greed thrown in (how come I don’t get a free pen? can we go to the bookstore so I can buy a T-shirt? how about a sweat shirt?)

I worry about how things will go when Middle Sister leaves the nest. I worry about her college choice–I don’t know what she wants, and I’m not sure she does either. I think she’s operating on the “I’ll know it when I see it” rule of thumb, but what she sees and what I see are often two very different things. And we can’t visit every college in the USA that offers her major until she sees it (and knows it.)

I’m patting myself on the back for the remarkable restraint I displayed today. I only said 3, maybe 4, good things about the university we visited today on the way home in the car. I did not gush, and I tried not to lecture.

As to the whole “knowing it when she sees it” approach, is that a good idea when she may not get accepted (or get enough financial aid) to attend her first choice school? If she falls in love with a place and then can’t go, any other place is just not going to do it for her.

Jesus told his disciples not to worry about what they were to eat, where they were to sleep, or what they were to wear. He’s got a point, but then again, he never had a 17-year-old daughter going off to college next year. That’s a whole different level of worry right there.

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2 thoughts on “Parenting 101, College Tour Edition

  1. This is how helpful I am about the whole thing: You’ll like the one you get into and that gives you enough money to go there. 😉 We also aren’t into visiting much until they’ve already been accepted.

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  2. Oh how I don’t envy you. What a challenging time for you and you’re daughter. It’s a lot of worry to be sure, but if I can offer this – I was 17 and got on a train from NYC to Texas for school, because I couldn’t afford my school of choice. A lot of good happened during my time there, and plenty, PLENTY of bad. But I wouldn’t have the life I have now. Who knows? I know you totally know this. I know that there are times when you just want to say, “Hey, I wasn’t looking for advice, I just want to be worried for a bit”. I’m just saying, with a mom like you…no matter where she goes, it will be great. 🙂

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