Blogging has been put on the back burner for a week or so. During this time we spent two days at the University that my son will be attending in the fall for freshmen orientation. It was a wonderful experience. I must say that I feel that my son has definitely made the right choice for his college education.
The college selection process is so much different than when I was was in his shoes some almost thirty years ago. The competition is so much tougher and so much is expected of these young men and women that I can see where they can become so stressed.
First comes the choice of high school classes that they must make. Between honors classes, advanced placement classes and a wide variety of elective courses that they must choose from. When I was in high school, I was in honors math which meant that my math class was the same ones that the class ahead of me was taking and it was certainly not of college level. We had no such thing as AP courses for which we could possibly earn college credit.
The SAT test was only math and verbal and scoring over a thousand meant that you could attend almost any school you wanted, except for maybe the Ivy league schools. Plus, there were virtually no SAT prep courses - most of us took the test with little to no preparation except to make sure that we had about a half a dozen no. 2 pencils with sharpened points.
Scholarships were few and far between and I don't remember any one who was awarded one. While I was probably about as good a student as my son, I was offered no scholarships, while my son was offered almost $150,000 in academic scholarships.
Orientation was only for students when I went to school. I remember being dropped off at school one day and picked up the next and my parents were not involved in orientation at all. But I must say that I think that having the parents more involved is definitely better. Of course, times have changed and there are so many more issues that kids must deal with and I think that they really need the support of their parents. The competition is so much more fierce, the lure of drugs and alcohol is much stronger and the cost of the education is so much higher that I think that parents need to be more aware of what is going on at the campus.
I must say that the school that my son will be attending provided both parents and students with a great overview of the school both academically and socially and reinforced that the choice made was indeed the best for our son.