College decision month: “So, where’s he going to college?”

There’s the question Mod Squad Dad and I have heard all month. We’re not alone; I’m sure most parents of parents of high school seniors across the country have been asked this by their friends, neighbors, family, colleagues, everyone.

Mod Squad Mia's only question: "Who's feeding me?"

Pete has heard it, too; perhaps more than I imagine.

The context of the college question has changed through the school year. In the fall it seemed more speculative, sometimes jocular, as in “Where’s he want to go to college?” [The world is full of possibilities!]

When we were in the midst of the application season, October through December, the question was often stated more gently, “Where is your son thinking of applying?”

During the past month, when the acceptances are in hand and the decision awaits, the question gained urgency, “So. Where’s he going to college?” Or was that urgency only in my mind?

Pete completed his first applications in mid-October. He received his first decision December 14th and his last decision April 12th. The colleges require a commitment May 1st.

parakeet

Swopes the parakeet: "College? What's college?"

Perhaps we should have enforced an early deadline for committing to college, as we did with applications. I didn’t have the heart.

Lovely to have the dramatic finish to the month to write about… but it would have been sweeter for Pete to have an easier decision to make.

I should clarify:  this was not one of our most emotionally fraught months related to college. I’m thinking that might have been October, with Pete working on getting through the Common Application interface and getting those first applications out.

April offered three of the four admitted student events and changed opinions on top of the usual crazy schedule of a household with three teens. Both parents had out of town travel after the final decisions were in. Often I wondered when Pete would have time to even think about this.

Fortunately, he didn’t seem bothered by it.

Nor did his siblings, yet they were mostly unaware of the deadline. Sunday morning Mod Squad Linc said, “Really? He has to decide today?” Followed up by Mod Squad Julie’s contribution, “Today? Today he has to make the decision that will impact the rest of his life?”

Meanwhile, neither animal in the household asked him about it at all.

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