Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The College Way

My oldest child is only 10 years old, but already college discussions have begun. I think she likes to carelessly toss out remarks like, "I don't wanna go to college," just to see me squirm. I try to explain to her that in today's world, college is a necessity. I try to explain to her that our expectation of her is that she will be getting a college education. Sometimes I might even say something along the lines of, "You are going to college, and don't even think for one second that not going is an option!"

Of course I know the reality. The reality that once she graduates from high school and turns 18, we're not going to be able to drag her to college against her will. The reality that she has to want it for herself, otherwise she isn't going to get anything out of it. She's in fifth grade, so I've got seven years to convince her that she needs to go to college. We're a lot alike, Bethany and I. But this I just don't understand. I always wanted to go to college. I couldn't wait to go to college. Of course she's still young, and as long as I make sure she hangs around college-bound kids (what? I can't pick her friends either?) from now until the end of high school, hopefully common sense and positive peer pressure will carry her right into the college of her choice.

The thing is, I really think Bethany will love college. As long as she gets to live in a rowdy dorm with no one around to tell her that caffeinated beverages are bad for her and fruit roll-ups will give her cavities, she'll be good to go. As much as I love her and want her to stay right with me forever and ever, I hope she finds something she's passionate about and goes wherever she needs to go to make her dreams reality. She loves Florida and fashion, so maybe she'll look into graphic design schools in Miami. I've always wanted to visit Miami. Because, you know, it's where Dexter lives. Or maybe she'll choose some other city that I've always wanted to go to, so that I'll have a perfect excuse to go there. As she's making her decision, there will be many factors to take into account, but sadly I have to admit that none of them will be "how badly does mom want to visit __________ (insert name of random awesome city)". Think about the ocean though, Bethany, and warmth. I trudged uphill in deep snow to get to classes in Kalamazoo, so I speak from experience. I'm sure there are lots of great graphic design schools in Miami

Whatever Bethany decides to do about college and with her life in general, I will be there to guide her, support her, and advise her along the way. And then I'll get to do the same thing three more times.

1 comment:

Diane and Chad said...

Our kids always just assumed they'd go to college...We talked about how much fun we had, visited college campuses when they were little, got them college sweatshirts all the time. If you discuss it with them too much it gives them the opportunity to rebel...you know how they love to do that...I'd say ignore her comments and continue random remarks about all the great colleges in MI...:)