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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Crazy College Decisions

choosing-a-college1Our son-the-high-school-senior receives numerous bits and pieces of college advice, much of which comes from online articles sent to his e-mail inbox.  And I have to laugh, because, for the most part it’s all. very. stupid.

Here are a few of the gems that students everywhere are ChoosingAMajor-Mdsupposed to embrace:

1.  Don’t base your college decision on what are your parents’ wishes for you.  This is YOUR LIFE and YOU’RE IN CHARGE. 

Hahahahaha, I nearly fall on the ground laughing as I delete it from his Inbox.  (And yes, I know what they’re saying, that this will impact him for the rest of his life, but right now, it’s impacting his parents about what he will be doing in terms of school for the next four to ten thyears of his life.)

You’re in charge!!!


2.  Don’t pay attention to where your favorite school might be located.  Go for it.  Grab for the gusto.   You only do this 1college thing once.  (I can only imagine the conversations being held in kitchens across America….)

Son or Daughter:  “Mom, I just located my dream college!  You’ll never believe where it is!”

Mother:  (Mentions name of next town over, with a perfectly fine university.)

7f2f07fefe26a8a0ef52f90646f0e8a7S or D:  “No, it’s in… (drum roll)… Bamako, Mali!”

Mother:  “That’s nice, dear.  Do you speak the language?”

S or D:  “Um, I’ll have to get back to you on that.  Don’t they speak French?”

Mother:  “Yes, that’s the official language.  But 80% of the ChooseCollegeSquareLogo_centeredpopulation prefer to speak Bamanankan, or Bambara, so it should be interesting.  Did you know that Bamako means ‘crocodile river’ in Bamanankan?”

S or D:  “What-?!  You’re kidding!  Crocodiles-?!”

Mother:  “Oh, I wouldn’t worry about any crocodiles.  But you do know about Bamako being located on a floodplain and the Niger River regularly overflowing its banks?  I’d be more concerned about being washed away, or the temperatures reaching 47 degrees Celsius (do you remember how to calculate what that would be in Fahrenheit?) and the clean drinking water’s insufficient supplies….

colleges1S or D:  “Um, you know I like to talk these things over with you.  It gives me food for thought.  As I said, I haven’t made any final decisions just yet….”

Mother:  “That’s nice, dear, as long as you realize that you’re the one in charge and you promise to drop me a letter once or twice during your undergrad years.  We would miss you at Thanksgiving dinner….”

Sure, choose a location, any location, the farther the better.  Um-hmmm.

3.  Don’t worry about college costs.  Think about financial aid and scholarship awards.  That’s the name of the game, and you probablyth will not be able to figure out the true costs, so don’t even try. 

And should you learn, one week before your first semester begins, that there’s no way under the sun you would ever be able to afford the first few weeks of school, much less several study-abroadyears in that luxury market, try negotiating with the financial aid office.

You never know.  It just may work.  (No, I am not making up this stuff.)

Well, these are the gems our son has received, usually from marketers touting schools, scholarships, or sweepstakes.  I always thought that university was meant to be educational, and believe me, we’re learning lots before he even gets there….


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