Shared with us by a parent, of a high school senior, who would like to remain anonymous.
As the May 1 Decision Day draws closer, are you biting your nails and pacing the floor awaiting your child’s choice of college?
This tongue-in-cheek list (from a parent who’s been there) consists of some of the things a parent might think about while “patiently” waiting for their high school senior to decide on a college.
18. Shift from rejoicing at your child’s university acceptances, to mild panic when you realize their canned answer of “I don’t know” shows absolutely no sign of changing.
17. Spend four hours a day frantically researching all of their choices, hurtling facts at them until they start hiding in their room.
16. Realize this isn’t working and resolve to stop advising. They are 18 and an adult (an adult with a carpet of dirty clothes on their bedroom floor, but whatever).
15. Each morning, apply invisible duct tape to your mouth and stop advising, asking questions, or even mentioning college. (You will be shocked at how difficult this is to do.)
14. To your amazement, the invisible duct tape works. In the face of your quiet and calm (which are completely faked but they don’t know that), your child starts to talk through their options and venture opinions.
13. Say nothing, as you cheerfully pay non-refundable dorm fees to multiple universities.
12. Refrain from commenting at their listening to extremely loud rock music on the way to and from school. This is a stressful decision for them —let it go. Refrain from mentioning you are doing the same to and from work (your music is just from the ’90s).
11. Quietly accept it doesn’t matter which school they pick because you look horrible in all three schools’ colors, anyway. (Why do so many schools pick orange?)
10. Now that you are able to be quiet and listen, you figure out what school they are going to pick eight days before they do.
9. Deep down, you began to understand. No matter which school they pick, they’re leaving.
8. Discover that all along you were so involved in “helping” them choose because you just wanted to spend a bit more time with them before they go away.
7. Looking back at the entire scenario, remember that they didn’t become surly or impatient with you once as you hovered, and instead ( in between hiding) they were gracious and kind. Because they know it too. They know they’re leaving, and they’re protecting their mother. They really have become a young adult. (A young adult who thinks you don’t have a life except for being their parent. )
6. Strongly resist the urge to march into their room (with its “dirty clothes carpet”) and yell “I DO SO HAVE A LIFE!”
5. Now that you’re in “invisible-duct-tape-over-mouth” mode and unable to frantically advise, it’s easy to see them. You see their hope, excitement, nostalgia as they spend time with friends, do senior activities, and nonchalantly inform you there were some books they never returned to the school which now need to be paid for or the school won’t let him graduate (clever school).
4. They may have brought out the crazy in you, but it has been the most wonderful ride of your entire life and you would do it again in a heartbeat.
3. Resolve not to cry when they announce their decision (which you figured out eight days ago . . . see item 11).
2. When they tell you, cry anyway.
1. Know your child is your greatest victory. Realize your greatest victory still hasn’t done anything about their room.
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