Your Survival Guy went to college this week. Actually, I went on a college tour. Our daughter is a Junior in high school and that’s what you do, right?
Driving with her for a couple hours in the car was a real eye-opener, because we not only talked about college in general, but she actually asked me questions. Questions from a teenager? It was an amazing feeling. She was relying on me for the answers, and not on social media.
The college search is like the 800-pound gorilla in the room, or in this case our kitchen. Have you seen the books? The “best colleges in the world” books? They’re huge.
The name of ours is “The Best 384 Colleges,” and this winter, on a typical Sunday morning, for example, I’d peel open the tome and begin reading to myself, and sometimes out loud to Becky.
Then an hour or so later when our daughter would walk into the kitchen I’d ask, “Izzy did you know that…” And she would head back upstairs.
Or, the next Sunday morning when she walked into the kitchen and saw the book on my lap she would head back upstairs even before I could get into the trivia.
Becky suggested I not force feed this stuff to her. I sipped my coffee and turned my attention to the Sunday Globe and the Bruins.
Then, there was a breakthrough…sort of. We were making dinner one night and I was standing over the tome, reading out loud to Becky, and I noticed Izzy off to the side looking at her phone, but listening to me. And then, if you can believe it, she asked me a question. Shock! Our college search had begun.
Driving with her to a recent college visit reminded me of when my dad and I went on a number of college tours in Virginia, and the Carolinas during a golf vacation to Myrtle Beach. It was fun. And so with that in mind, we had a relaxed car ride and a real nice time together.
Now for the not so fun part. My takeaways:
- “Globalism” was mentioned by the head of admissions so often I thought he was playing a drinking game. So much for getting an education and applying it to your hometown.
- He assured everyone in the room that if you’re receiving a grant and tuition increases, your grant will increase by the same percentage. Not to worry parents! Does anyone see a problem here?
- $68,000 including room and board. How generous.
While we were waiting for the information session to begin, I was speaking with another father, an alumnus, as was his wife. “It sure wasn’t this hard to get in when I went here,” he assured me.
All in all, it was a great day except for seeing up close and personal the big business we call “college.”
Any undertaking as big as putting a child through college has to make sense for your family. You have to put your family first. That’s harder to do than ever. Read my piece: Tucker Explains: Put America First, Put its Families First, to understand why that is, and what you can do about it.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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