Kenyon is not a small town. Gambier isn’t even a small town. This may come as a surprise to city or suburban parents who think they are sending their children to the quintessential New England-style school in a small town in Ohio. But Kenyon (and Gambier) are not Main Street, America, and you won’t find Homer Price’s donut-making machine in the shop on the corner with the accompanying 25-cent cup of coffee.
Once college applications are completed, students will find themselves in the midst of a lull period, during which high school seniors experience an interminable limbo while still feeling pressure to keep up their grades. So as a parent, what do you do?
It took me seven years of college searches with my three very different (I know you know) children to learn a basic rule: that virtual reality is just as valid a part of the search process as test scores, grades, and tuition expenses. Over these years, I’ve come to accept that my parental role is like that of Sancho Panza to Don Quixote, listening hard and believing the impossible until I share a vision of each student’s dream.
December is prime time for college neurosis. Seniors are waiting for early decisions and juniors have just received scores for the SATs they bombed. But if your child is under ten, or better yet, still in utero, you can alleviate a lot of stress by adhering to this handy timeline:
When my daughter was a junior in high school, she signed up for a six-week summer program in Brazil. I couldn’t imagine how I would cope for that long without her. If I couldn’t face putting her on an airplane for a six-week trip, how would I handle a college drop-off? I joked with her that after she said good-bye to me on freshman move-in day, she should check under the bed in her dorm room. She was not amused.