This looming pile is all of the postcards, letters and miscellaneous mailings that have made it into our home since my daughter took standardized college entrance exams (PSAT, ACT, SAT) and word got out to universities that another family had money to drop on getting a college education for their kid.
My daughter didn't know where she wanted to go to school, so as these came in, I stashed them in a box - but last night I unleashed the Kraken, and with all the envelopes going every which way in all corners of the house, it might as well have been the Dursley's house after they tried to stop the Hogwarts letters from coming in to get Harry Potter's attention - the mail just seemed to be spewing everywhere!
It's obviously our daughter's choice where she wants to go to school, but with the game-changing college admissions process that is a wild card process with schools needing students - and with college "sticker" prices now being negotiated like a 1970's used car, this world of figuring out the best place to further your child's education is not for the faint-hearted.
The sticker price for one year? If you look at out-of-state public or at private schools in any state, you'll see that the given price on their websites for one year of tuition, fees, and room and board costs the same as the four-bedroom ranch my dad bought for us in Hanover Park, IL in 1976. And that price tag would be $40,000. He took out a 30-year mortgage on that amount back then.
Now, I know we won't be paying that amount (because I know we can likely get some scholarship money - most of my friends' children are getting just as good or better prices on schools across the country as they are in Illinois) but just the thought of that kind of cash for a single year of anything - well - could YOU sleep?
Truth be told, it's been a great joy of mine to visit college campuses, explore our daughter's opportunities and see what is out there. I know many people are disappointed our state doesn't offer any incentives to middle-class to upper-middle-class families to attend Illinois public institutions, but I like to think it opens up the options for college locations.
In short, I make the best of thinking that we DON'T have to be limited by the Land of Lincoln for our daughter's education. That's actually a very exciting perspective!
In a positive way, I would say I can't sleep because I'm considering the excitement of her opportunities...and the Parents' Weekends I'll no doubt love coming in for!
I seriously hope her college years are some of the best of her life. Mine certainly were. Her journey is just beginning, and she still has many choices to make.
That too -- thinking of your child's future plans, her goals, dreams and objectives -- is also scary (we hope it works out for the best for her!) and also gratifying -- we can help a human being launch into life. Either way you look at it, those are some reasons to lose a little sleep over. It's a big deal.
So excuse me now. I need to rummage the cabinets for some "Sleepytime" Chamomille tea. Or a bottle of wine. Or both!
P.S. This post was this months' Blogapalooz topic; "Write About What Keeps You Up At Night". If you did indeed check with my family, you'd find there is actually pretty much NOTHING that keeps me up - or wakes me up! - at night. Son inherited that gene...daughter not so much.
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