College

Visit #1 is in the books. Some thoughts.

We visited the University of Maryland this past weekend with my 16 year-old (Junior in H.S.) son.

Some thoughts:

I don’t feel sadness thinking of him leaving for school.

I would actually be okay with pushing up the timeline. He needs college to unearth the real him and the sooner that happens the better. I’ll miss the shit out of him, but I’ll be more excited to see him evolve.

It makes zero sense to burden him with this inevitable debt.

I feel like we’re buying high and have to imagine that the tuition bubble will burst soon. It’s insanity. The cost is so out of touch and it’s a foregone conclusion that this will be the worst investment we’ll ever make.

Shame on us for saddling him with this debt.

College shouldn’t start until age 21.

He needs a few years to dabble in the real world and the workforce and to mature just enough to ensure he doesn’t spontaneously combust once he walks on to campus.

I imagine those few years away from school will foster a desire to take advantage of an education and all that it has to offer once he returns.

Or he never wants to go back and we all make out financially.

Win/win.

How do we sell him on at least one year of community college.

That’s the smarter financial move but not the ideal move for him. Would that significantly lessen his experience?

Do you we sacrifice his experience in the name of $$$ savings or bite the bullet.

Note to self: explore this more.

I’m scared shitless to send him out on his own.

Yes I’m allowed to want him to go and not go at the same time. Yes I’m allowed to want to coddle him. Yes I’m allowed to feel anything and everything.

It’s the I trust him but not anyone else axiom.

I hope we can pull off secretly adding a GPS tracker to his phone before he departs.

I’m jealous of his impending freedom.

That freedom is intoxicating. I still remember exactly how it felt when I left for school.

This will define him.

Or break him.

Game on.

I so desperately want him to follow his passion/dream.

But I fear he’ll stick with it out of a distorted obligation to us. There’s a big difference between bailing too soon and pivoting when it feels right. I hope we can continue to convey that message to him clearly.

A simple “yup” text will be required on a daily basis.

Preferably at 2:00 am.

I’m jealous of the diversity he’ll soon be exposed to.

His hometown does not provide that today.

That is still the most enticing aspect of college IMHO.

I can’t help but question my parenting skills to date.

He’s about to leave. Oh shit.

Did I impart enough fatherly wisdom?

Have I covered all of life’s potential pitfalls?

Should I give him a survey before it’s too late?

I think I lost track of him somewhere along the way.

I dropped the ball.

It will crush me when I no longer get to drive him to high school each morning.

This one physically hurts.

Should I force him to drink a beer now?

Dumb, but it crosses my mind now and again. Because, you know, college is only about drinking.

College opened my eyes and flipped me musically, politically and socially.

Does that still happen? He’s open minded and well read and a compassionate human being.

Here’s looking forward to more of that from him.