More on college

Today we did a triple whammy.  We drove out to Tufts for a tour and info session.  I went to school in Boston but never made my way on to the Tufts campus.  It was very interesting for a variety of reasons. 

First of all, the tour was packed.  Possibly 50 students and either with one parent or two and some brought a few siblings.  The guy who spoke to the group about what separated Tufts from other schools was fantastic.  Not only did he speak about Tufts, he gave the group some advice on writing their essays.   What was interesting is the mothers in the crowd taking copulas notes.  The woman in front of me was writing an outline as he spoke as if she was back in college in a lecture hall.  Both Jessica and I were dumbstruck.

I started watching the mothers taking notes.  Each of them were very serious.  They almost tried to connect with the speaker on stage while taking everything in.  Their kids just sat next to them listening.  I found it just amazing.  I wonder if these mothers also pour cereal for their kids every morning, pick out their clothes and make sure their homework is complete before handing it in.  How are these kids actually going to leave the nest and function?  Why are these mothers doing this?

Is it because these mothers have made their kids their work?  Perhaps it is a backlash to their own childhood?  Were mothers of that generation so laissez-faire that their children felt they had to be so involved that they hold their kids hand through ever step of their lives?  I honestly do not know but I wonder how these kids are going to become adults.  How are they going to be able to make intelligent decisions, are they going to go to college and just let loose and drink until they drop, are they going to be lost and find the need to come home every weekend, are they going to graduate and come home to live permanently, are they going to be able to function in the workplace?  Quite frankly, I find it scary.

Once again, these kids asked not a question.  One kid actually sat in the front of the tour part blowing bubbles and im’ing on her phone while her mother listened and asked questions.  Many of the kids actually looked so disengaged because why engage yourself when your Mom can take care of everything for you.  Maybe it is the cost?  Perhaps parents feel that they need to make sure the decision is ever so right because the cost of going to college is so high.  Thoughts out there?

We left Tufts and traveled by car to check out Babson that has a really nice campus and Brandeis that doesn’t.  Babson is set in the middle of a beautiful suburb lining a country club and golf course.  Not sure either are right for Jessica but again, that is her decision.  She asked plenty of questions and is taking the whole thing in. 

Like finding the right person to work for you or finding the right apartment or house, you just know.  There is an air of comfort the minute you meet someone or walk in the door.  The same is true of shopping for colleges.  Unfortunately you can’t just expect that the college that you feel the best about is going to feel the same about you.  It is a true crap shoot.  Although you might know in your heart that you are the perfect fit for a place, you can only hope that the institution feels the same.  In essence, you better find a few places that you feel comfortable on and not set your sights on the ultimate one. 

After our college outings we drove back to Boston.  I drove Jess around the city and showed her where we used to live, our perspective colleges, and places we used to hang.  It was really fun and it was incredible how quickly the roads came back to me.  We tried to get into the fraternity that Fred lived in ( I lived there two memorable summers as well) but nobody was home.  I would have loved to show Jess inside.  At least I got a picture of her on the stoop.