Thursday, May 1, 2014

Be Careful What You Ask For

Well it’s May 1st.   And if you’re a parent of a high school or college senior, you know that this is decision day.  The day the students have to commit to whatever college they have chosen.

Beaner has always known she needed to go to grad school.  And she has done well in college.  She double majored in psyche and criminal justice, did a minor in sociology and will graduate magna cum laude.   (I think I can brag a little, especially since she has none of my DNA)   And she got accepted to all six schools she applied to that have the rare combination of study she is interested in.

And then she panicked.  How was she going to decide?  Two of the school were in Florida where her boyfriend is now working.  One school is on Long Island, close to my sister.  One was in North Carolina where she loves the sports.  One in Boston where her best friend will be living.  And one is 7 miles down the road.  

My advice was to start by eliminating the bottom choices  -

1.  Start with the schools that don’t have the exact program you want to study.   This knocked out Long Island since it did not give her the certification she would need to accept insurance should she go into private practice.

2. Next - thinking about actually living where these schools are located, how would she feel about living there.  Having recently spent some time in Florida, and sharing space with NC students on her senior spring break, she eliminated all the southern schools.  Beaner said that she did not want to live any place where confederate flags were acceptable or where her parents would not be considered equal.  (I am proud of my daughter for many things, but maybe none more than this)

She was down to Boston and her home university and she has been agonizing about it for weeks.

Frankly, where we live is not a great place for young people.  There is not much to do.  Most of her friends went away to school and have now have jobs elsewhere.   In my heart I really think she would be happiest in Boston, a great city for young people.  But I had to have a serious talk with her about money.  Boston’s tuition  is almost 3 times what she will pay as a resident of her home state university, plus she would have housing costs which are astronomical in Boston.  And then there is the fact that our state university’s program is ranked the highest, for this particular program, on the east coast. But she is footing the bill for this, so the choice was entirely hers.

And so yesterday she made the final decision to come home to go to school.   A very mature decision - the best education with the smallest amount of incurred debt rather than living the dream with her friends in Boston.

We are just awakening to the reality of this situation.  Beaner will be living at home for the next couple of years.   Not just coming home for a weekend, or even the summer.  Home for the duration.  With all her accumulated furniture and crap that has no room in our tiny house.  With her college time schedule, getting up around noon, then up til all hours.   All her newly acquired dietary preferences. And all of her noise.

And for us - loss of our privacy.  Loss of our space.  Loss of bathroom time.  Loss of quiet time.  It’s funny how you miss them so much when they first leave, but then you settle back into your original “couple” roots and life is very good.

I am very proud of my eldest daughter.  She has worked hard and made good choices.  I like to think that I had some small part in her becoming the amazing young woman she is.   But now it is coming back to bite me.  Be careful what you ask for, for you will surely get it : )





11 comments:

  1. Isn't it interesting how when you are paying the bills they want and need everything. But when they have to pay, they get all responsible? Oh they do grow up . . .eventually.

    Good for Beaner though. You always knew that girl was willing to work hard to follow her dreams.

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  2. Your life and mine just flipped - we were prepared for ours to come home to study for her masters, but she has now decided to stay where she is and get her masters as an employee of the university. We brought a load home last night after meeting her half way - and it is currently in the garage for a week - until we haul it all back.

    Just remember it is temporary... It is bittersweet. Sounds like she has made some good decisions.

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    1. Temporary, temporary, temporary. This will be my new mantra ; )

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  3. Bully for your oldest. A new routine will be established quickly enough,I shoud think. :-)

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    1. Yes, but I don't want my new routine to include seeing 2 am, ever : )

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  4. You have so many beautiful reasons for your pride! I remember returning home for a time after college. It was an adjustment for both me and my parents. I recommend early communication of your concerns and expectations with her. I'm sure, as the only daughter suggests, you will establish new and enjoyable routines.

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    1. Good advice, I will heed.

      Temporary, temporary, temporary.

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  5. What an amazing daughter!! Enjoy every minute.

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    1. Amazing is one word for her : )

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  6. I'm jealous! Oh, to have the Kid back in residence! Yes, it would all be different and slightly aggravating, no doubt, but even now I never get tired of her.

    I agree with the other commenters about addressing the reality up front. It won't be the same, and you don't want it to be the same, so bring it up in the beginning. Set new house rules. Don't expect it to be like having your child back at home, but another adult in the house. It can work! (What a smart kid. I'm sure living with her moms wasn't her first choice, in terms of her autonomy, but it was the sensible choice.)

    I'm hoping we'll get some updates on the situation!

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    1. I have to say, Beaner does add a lot of energy to our house. And if I wasn't becoming such a curmudgeon, I would probably enjoy it : )

      Updates, yes. My Full of Grace posts will probably start reading - so grateful I didn't kill her today.

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