Today is the last day for the school bus to circle around my cul-de-sac. Soon, there will be children everywhere, all hours of the day and night, frolicking around the neighborhood. Gaggles of teens will collect on the corners in the neighborhood or sit in the middle of the street after dark (seems to be their favorite past-time). I’ll hear lots of splashing and shrieking and music blasting from the swimming pools on the other side of the fences surrounding our house. And new sets of skid marks will appear mysteriously on the streets when morning comes after nights of teens being reckless on the “safety” of quiet neighborhood lanes. Typical summer in the ‘burbs.
Not for us, though. SuzyQ and I are planning to hit the ground running to visit colleges this summer. Sigh. It makes complete sense. If we travel around and visit now, it will be SO much easier than trying to squeeze in those trips in the fall between rehearsals and concerts and karate classes and the SAT again and heavy schoolwork. Thus, my calendar is already filling with SuzyQ’s appointments all over the eastern United States.
My formula is to add in some fun during each visit. We will shop for antiques and vintage clothes and then eat BBQ in Memphis. We’ll stay in a Bed and Breakfast in coastal South Carolina and hit the beach. Do a little outlet shopping in Williamsburg. Maybe squeeze a museum visit into a Washington DC trip. Because, let’s face it: college visits are stressful. SuzyQ is trying to picture herself on each campus and decide what it will feel like to actually live there 9 months out of the year. I’m trying to imagine SuzyQ there and predict whether she will be happy or whether Darling Husband and I will worry ourselves into the ground 9 months out of each year while she’s there. Not to mention trying to determine whether that particular school is worth the monster investment of money it will take to send her there. And do the tour guides really have to point out all of the recycle bins on campus to prove how “green” and “sustainable” the school is? And only in the bizarre worlds of college admission and financial aid is it a bad thing to come from a stable family with 2 parents (who live together and are of the opposite sex) who both attended college and are natural-born citizens. But that’s a rant for another post.
Here’s the thing that amazes me after each campus visit: My take-away impressions are generally completely different from SuzyQ’s no matter what. If I find the dorms quirky and charming, she thinks they’re just old. When I think it’s cool that you can walk a few blocks to a fun street full of shops and cafes, she thinks it’s too busy. Maybe this is a product of the teenage instinct to disagree with parents.
So we are off and running. One month and 4 colleges–so far. Thank goodness for credit card reward points. Just hoping for good weather and good BBQ.