I was recently at a friends house. This friend is moving out of state and while packing and cleaning she had asked people to just stop by and say bye one last time, get a hug, all that stuff. So the kids and I stopped by, her daughter and Adrienne had played 2 years of travel ball together and we’d shared a lot of good times, a few drinks and great stories. We’ve sort of drifted apart but she is still a great friend, and I’ll miss her.
One of her neighbors is a woman I know. She once coached my girls in swimming when they swam competitively at about age 8 and 9. X is a nice enough woman, but intense. We were chatting, she said she almost didn’t recognize the girls, wow had they grown. She has two children of her own, a son @ 13 and a daughter @ 11. She asked where the girls are attending HS and I told her and she said she’d really like her kids to attend this school, great math department. I agreed, and then she went in the most bizzare direction. X began to tell me how advanced her kids are in math, how by the time they reach 9th grade they will have both completed Algebra 2 honors(my girls did this as sophomores, and they came to HS with their Algebra 1 grade) Entering HS with that much math completed is very advanced, but not impossible I guess. Her kids are currently at a charter school(she tells me since I didn’t know, didn’t really care..lol).
X just doesnt’ stop. She tells me they have been in contact with Cornell, and have asked what math they want to see complete by end of college. She continues on bantering about the advantages of CC dual enrollment vs AP classes, and I just sort of nod and I’m looking for a way out of this conversation. I ask why she’s not considering one of the advanced HS schools of choice in our district or the one that has the IB program, she told me something, honestly I am tuned out. I did tell her that I’m a firm believer in letting kids just be HS students. I don’t discourage any advanced classes, but I do think that college can wait for college(don’t hate me).
Then, she did it, she did this right in front of me when I didn’t see it coming……….she turned to my girls, who were also looking for a way out, and asked them, “so where are you going to college and what are you studying?”. When Caitie looked at her and said she has an interest in Math, Engineering and maybe architecture, but only knows she does not want to attend any of the large state schools, X looked at her like she had 3 heads! She was appauled and aghast that they haven’t made a choice. I wanted to slap this woman silly. I blessedly did find a way out, when another woman told us her son was getting scholarship offers for college in 7th grade…………stop people!!!
Why, oh dear lord, why are some people trying to push their kids so so hard? I was an average to above average student in HS and in college, I changed my major in college, do you think I was alone? Heck no……….many people do this. When you are 16 or even 18 it’s difficult to say, I want to do this job forever. Those that know what they want are lucky, and even those may have a change of heart as I did.
I get nervous thinking about college for my girls, the cost, the reality that they must really do it all on their own. I get nervous about choosing schools, applying, getting in, paying for it, did I say that twice, well it deserves it. I’m listening to others who are parenting like age children and I know that this next year is a time for narrowing the field from any school in the US to ok, what is realistic and where do really want to attend. We’ll work it all out, I have no doubt, but I refuse to push, to convince them to what I want, because in the end, it’s not my education or my career or my life.
The images above, my alma mater, The University of Missouri-Columbia…………and imagine, I loved it and didn’t have it all planned out at 13~!
Images courtesy of google images.