leaving on a jet plane

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We are down to one child at home, and she won't be home that much longer if events go according to her hopes and plans. She's a senior in High School, and is doing the college application process. I hadn't realized just how stressful it has become. I don't remember it being nearly this tough 14 years ago when our firstborn decided to go straight from High School to the university. It certainly wasn't all that stressfull for me back in the dark ages. I took the SAT once, scored what I considered to be a very respectful 1370, and got into the college I wanted right off the bat, despite a less than stellar GPA.

But my daughter and her peers seem to agonize over everything. I try to be supportive and to offer what help I can. But the kids are right. I just don't get it.

Anyhow, I'm asking all y'all for prayers for her (and for me, while I'm at it). In a couple of days, we're putting her on an airplane to fly to California for the open house/prospective student day at her current first choice school. Her big brother will pick her up at the airport and be her chauffeur and general moral support. Her godmother (aunt) will take her to the campus and be in loco parentis. It's a stressful event, and I'm feeling a little guilty that I'm not taking her, but there are lots of reasons (including last minute notice) why it didn't work out that way.

Those of you have done the college thing more recently (personally or with your kids), does it seem to be way out of proportion stressful? Any words of wisdom? Is there a patron saint for would be college students?

Of course, getting in to college is only the first challenge. There is also paying for it.....


My daughter's a freshman in college this fall, so yeah, we just went through all the searching last year. I don't really think she was stressing out too much. Her high school counselor helped provide applications to about 5 schools she was considering, and we filled them out in one night. The counselor also helped Amy with her application essay. I lined up the ACT -- Amy took it twice because her scores weren't all that great (she's never been a good test-taker). But her GPA was pretty good and she was accepted at Western Michigan, which was her first choice. She was also accepted at Central, but wanted Western more.

Paying for it -- now that's a whole 'nother thing. Especially since, for that first semester, there is so much more to buy than tuition, room and board. Stuff for the dorm room, school supplies, a laptop computer. Let's just say I'll be scrimping and saving for the next 4-6 years.

She is in my prayers.

I have no idea as to the answers on your questions, my oldest is just now 14.

St Thomas Aquinas!

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But I'm at Notre Dame and will vouch for the fact that if Our Lady wants you somewhere, she will get you there. I got accepted at Notre Dame with a very generous aid package [I only pay $2,000/ a year] despite not being the most likely candidate.

Another tip is don't neccessarily discount private colleges. They may have a higher "sticker price" but can usually offer a better scholarship aid package because of a more involved alumni base. And due to the smaller size, students generally recieve more fin aid per capita. Also, many private schools meet 100% of financial need.

More and more people are going to college these days. The standards get higher and higher. I've seen that happen here at Notre Dame in the 4 years I've been here. So I can understand why your daughter is anxious. I hope that the trend in admissions will not be ever higher test scores and more of a focus on well rounded students, but I don't think that is the case everywhere.

Alicia, please feel free to email me. I'm in my last year of college, helped my younger brother with his apps, and my dad was involved with college admissions in a professional capacity for many years.


I agree that it is so much more stressful than either my husband or I remember. We spend all our time reminding our daughter that there are so many more options out there and not to stress out.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on November 8, 2005 9:52 PM.

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