Sunday, July 29, 2012

College Crazy

“Your life will be completely taken over by this one obsession.” The deep, dark voice of doom echoes across the small wood table as I sit down to the lunch special at the sunny and cheerful local Chinese restaurant on the Upper Westside. He continues with in a heavy Boston accent; “Every minute will be consumed by the quest of finding the right college, strategies to get in, and then creative financing to pay for the stupid school.”
The possessed man who sit across the table from me was, at one time, a happy-go-lucky guy whose only concerns were NYC real estate and art. He is another friend who is part of the One Perfect Daughter Club. His strikingly beautiful, blue eyed, blond haired daughter was adopted from Texas. The little troll of a man with his piercing dark eyes and leprechaun beard said—“yes, yes—we tried to play the race card because, you know, my wife is Cuban, but the kid looks like some corn-feed cheerleader from one of those square states.” He said with real disappointment in his voice.
“Yeah…that beauty is a real millstone around the neck--if only she looked like you, she might have been awarded the Lord of Rings scholarship.” I said in an attempt to cheer him up that was unsuccessful.
Another friend tells a tale of college admission intrigue….
“I don’t care what else you write” she said to her son” —you just better get in there that you have two mommies. The admissions people will overlook the fact your parents’ names are Suzy and Betsy—so write about it and make it good. “ said my friend as she related the story of prepping her son to write his college essay.
Apparently it is not until you are in the mix do you really get caught up in. Mr. Troll, I thought, would never get involved in something as trivial as college selection, but low and behold—he talked of high school summer programs leading up to the college applications, special trips to Cuban for that fruitless race card…and all the other strategies that the REALLY “crazy” parents were trying. And you have got to wonder—is all worth it?
Although I live in a town where many parents have been thoughtfully building a clear trajectory for their children from preschool to Harvard—we, of course, have not. We want our child to be successful in life, but what is success? If the path to a successful adulthood leaves out childhood— what is the point?
As The Beast approaches college age her interests are varied—writing, world history, international travel, online design communities, Japanese anime, Chinese language, music, cooking…to be honest…we are not even really sure anymore—we can only hope her eclectic interests point her in the direct of a college that is ideal for HER….with lots and lots of scholarship money.


Michele said...

I learned with the first college boy that no matter what degree they want to pursue at the beginning they will change their mind at least once. As aarent all you can do is to let them find their passion then steer them to it.

LazyMom said...

It all happens so quickly. It ready does seem like just yesterday The Beast was in pre-school.