Underestimate

This is a Daily Post Prompt from a day ago.

Here’s what’s going on in my life right now. In just three months, my husband and I will deliver our first born child, our son, our beautiful little boy turned guy with a beard, a girlfriend and a car overnight to his college dorm room so he can begin his freshman year of college.

I’m going to quote my one of my friends, who is also one of my followers of this blog by saying, “It takes an army to send a kid to college”. To say boy oh boy did I underestimate that, is an understatement.

Our son exceeded our academic expectations of him in high school and rightfully earned his place at a four year university. My husband and I took a different road into college than our son so I guess our underestimating was simply out of having not experienced the process ourselves. Who knew? We both started out in community college. In community college we grew up a little, got some prerequisites out of the way and raised our grades. My husband transferred into the university he would earn his BA from and commuted there each day. I entered a hospital based nursing program in the same city, lived on the hospital campus and earned my Nursing Diploma.

We gathered our troops and the battle began in September 2015, the boy’s senior year. Because he’s a minor we had to give the high school permission to release his transcripts to the schools he was applying to and then we had to set things in motion on two different websites the high school uses for the college application process. Next the senior English teachers join the army by teaching the students how to write college essays and college resumes. This alone was a blessing. College for us was along time ago… nuff said.

There were times when battle conditions became hostile and heavy when the army tried to juggle the boy’s marching band season, heavy academic load, social life, household tasks and a nasty little disorder called senioritis. Eventually the essays were written, the applications were completed, the submit button was pressed and the applications were sent off into infinity. Then we waited. I still haven’t mastered the art of waiting patiently but fortunately it wasn’t a long wait. The acceptance letters came to wish the boy a Merry Christmas and after the holidays more college visits were made one last time to enhance the decision making process. All though the last day to commit to universities was May 1, our son committed to his on March 26, 2016. This army had won the battle.

Oh good we thought, we’ll just sign him up for freshman orientation, apply for his student loans and  drop him off at the dorm and that will be it. Buzz buzzzzzz thank you for playing. Wrong. We were in peacetime for a few hot minutes, that is until the pre-freshman orientation checklists and the financial aid information came in the mail. More underestimating here on the amount of time it would take for our little army to get through the financial aid and pre freshman orientation checklist. I’ve walked around these last few weeks with a stomach ache because the senioritis is intensifying, more deadlines were hanging over us like a black cloud and there was bickering among the ranks of our army. Again, who knew? My Dad did all of these things for my brother and I and then…my parents dropped us off at our dorms when it was time to start school. Poof like magic. Miraculously though, our army got through yet another phase of battle and I am pleased to say that we have met the deadlines and completed the checklist. The next checklist doesn’t seem so intense but I’ll try not to underestimate and by the time the army has to gather again to complete it, the senioritis will no longer be a disease.

I’ve had friends tell me they’ve allowed their teenagers take the reigns and do college preparations themselves with little guidance. Too scary. Teenagers are irrational and their minds are all over the place. They don’t always have a sense of urgency for deadlines. Would we do this again for our son in the same manner and then assemble an army again in September 2019 when our daughter will be applying to college? Absolutely. This is huge. I believe that choosing a college helps create one’s destiny and path in life. If I have to assemble an army to put my children on that path and then get on the battlefield with them to make sure they are on the path destined for them, I will.

 

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2 thoughts on “Underestimate”

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with your final paragraph (and lived through all the other paragraphs myself!).
    Once he got to college, he was responsible for his own being but until then, I was there to guide him, make sure essays were complete, applications set, financial aid completed (by me), etc. and so on.
    He was only a 1/2 hour away but lived on campus for 2 years and then rented a home for the final 2 years. Now taking charge of the 1st house hunting and the coordination of the bills and rent was another battle. And the parents were worse than the kids involved.

    Like

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