Transition from High School to CollegeTuesday, May 19, 2009
Since it’s the first child going away to college, the entire family planned to drive her on her “move-in” date. A few weeks before the move-in date, I thought her and I will be so excited going to Bed, Bath and Beyond to pick out all the accessories and gadgets she’ll need for her dorm.
Sadly, my daughter had second thoughts. She actually hated the idea of going away to college. I’m not sure if it’s because of her boyfriend or she was just getting cold feet. But since we already rejected the other universities’ offer, I just can’t let her not go to college at all. My husband and I just thought she was just getting the initial “scared”-phase of being away from home. (Even though for the last 2 years of her high school, all she kept saying was – “I can’t wait to go away to college.” )
So off she spent her first semester at University of South Carolina (USC). My husband, I and her 3 brothers dropped her off on her “move-in” date. That experience was the most stressful, frustrating and emotionally draining experience of our lives. She didn’t stop crying. Every time she came home from a school break, she cried hysterically every time she had to fly back to South Carolina. She still finished the semester as one of the featured editors of the school’s magazine/newspaper and was awarded the President’s Award for her 4.0 average.
She worked and applied to transfer the very first week she was at USC. We tried to talk her out of it, but she was just miserable. So for her 2nd semester, she got in to Rutgers and decided to live in campus. But after dorming for 4 days at Rutgers University she’s back at our crying on the 5th day. So now she commutes to Rutgers and said she’s absolutely happy to be at Rutgers University – ( one of the schools we told her to apply initially but back then she hated the idea that it’s in NJ). In two years, she hopes to graduate (with honors) and be a school teacher.
My second child is graduating from High School this summer. He applied to 6 universities and got accepted to 5. They all gave him merit scholarships. The 6th one he didn’t get in is the university I wanted him to go to even though he didn’t want to. And guess what, on May 1st ( the deadline to accept or decline admission), he decided to go to the community college. With kids’ uncertainty and the current financial crisis, I’ve heard a lot of kids in his class are going to community college until they all figure out exactly what they want to be. He still wants to pursue Music Production and Technology /udio Engineering.
So I guess you can say, that “the exciting feeling of the college transition you see in magazines and television?” – well, we are still looking forward to it.
My third child is entering high school and got accepted to the University program and Honors program. He’ll be taking college courses and is already thinking of universities to apply to. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania – that’s what’s on his list (for now). I know we still have 3 years before he starts applying, but I’ll actually just wait and see what college/university he finally ends up going. He has high aspirations and sometimes I worry (as my 8yo says - I worry because that's my job as a mom!).
My fourth child, yes, my 2nd grader! We still have a decade before we embark on college. Although he thinks he wants to be an astronaut, he definitely has negotation skills fit for an attorney. For now, all he’s concerned about day-to-day is who among his friends can come over for a playdate.
Having four children, there’s no cookie-cutter as far as parenting is involved. They are all different and uniquely their own personalities. Every experience, conversation and adventures have taught me how to react, view things differently and digest this whole parenting responsibilities.