One theme of the school year so far–and perhaps this is part of why I’ve been absent–is the Snork Maiden’s senior year, which I am finding profoundly moving. All the senior rituals and experiences, but now she’s among the students having them. Driving to school with her and being sharply aware that next year she won’t be in the car. (I was going to write “next year I’ll be driving alone,” but actually it’s fairly likely that I’ll carpool with someone once my schedule no longer has to accommodate hers.)
And, of course, the college process. It has gone pretty smoothly so far. The key factor for her has been that she has a pretty specific idea of the area she wants to work in, and that’s done a lot to shape her search. She visited a few schools that seemed like great places, just not right for her, and that helped her keep perspective about how it’s a decision on both sides, not just them judging you. The places she’s applying to are places that she’s enthusiastic about. The SA counselors encourage students who are ready to do one or more early applications, and there are a lot of schools that offer non-binding early answers, so she applied to the school she thinks is her top pick and also to another one she is interested in, and got in to both. The second one offered her a merit scholarship; she’ll learn more about financial aid for both of them in January, and she’s planning to go to an admitted students event for Top Pick in February.
It’s been interesting to see the process from the parent side. I didn’t know about the official and unofficial Facebook groups that spring up for admitted students–the Snork Maiden joined the official one and one for admitted students in her specific major, which will be maybe 40-50 first-years after regular admissions is complete. Right now it’s about 20 students and they’re already bonding and sharing information. She already feels very committed to the school. I’m conflicted: the school does seem like a good fit for her, but I’d like her to keep an open mind about the others she hasn’t heard from yet, and the question of aid is also very much in play.
One thing I do support is her going to the admitted students event, even though I know it will exert a lot of recruiting pressure and she will likely come home even more sold on the place than before (well played, Top Pick, to have it before the regular decisions come in). Top Pick is in a cold place, and she should know what February feels like there.