Monday, January 28, 2008

Applying to Harvard will be a Cinch!

I am losing my mind, people. I'm losing my fucking mind.

When I applied to college,I applied to one school. Yup. I knew what I wanted.

I visited Saint Joseph's, VT which was a complete party school. I visited Saint Joseph's, ME which was fine but seemed sort of cold. And I visited my college, which was Catholic and all-women and felt like home.

So I applied early and got in and never had to worry about another application. I even got into Saint Joseph's, VT even though I never applied. They were a bit desperate.

In many, many ways, I regret my decision now. Don't get me wrong. I loved my college while I was there. But in hindsight, I could have really spread my wings during that time in my life. I had the brains. I have no idea why I limited myself. I should have applied to all of the Seven Sisters. I guess I was worried about what my parents could afford.

And I was scared.

But now, I am stuck in the middle of this process for my own kids. They may be years away from college, but it feels just the same.

We're an Independent School* kind of family. Honestly, I won't accept anything but an independent school education for my kids, as long as one is available wherever we move. (Don't ask me what I'm going to do if one isn't available.)

But right now we're not sure where we're going to move. It's all up in the air again. We won't know where we're going until the middle of February if we're lucky. Or the middle of March if we're not.

And when is the application deadline for most independent schools? This Friday.

So like a maniac, I'm sending applications to every school that looks decent in every city we might move to.

That's a lot of applications.

And most of these schools have their own recommendation forms and testing requirements, so unlike the tuitions ($25,000 for one of my top choices!!!) the application process isn't like college. Nothing is standardized.

And my kids' poor teachers are stuck writing out a bunch of different recommendation forms. (They have been AMAZING though. Seriously. A-MAZING!)

And of course each of these schools wants the kids to come spend a day. Have they never had out-of-town applicants before? Even when we know what city we're going to, we're going to have to visit at least three different schools. I can't take my kids out of their own school for a whole week to accomplish this.

Right now I am seriously leaning towards the school with the most understanding admissions director.

This whole process is wreaking havoc on my life. It's all I think about. (That and money.) I cannot wait until the end of March when all of these questions will be answered.

And I'm going to repeat our own admission director's words over and over again until they sink in. "Wherever they end up will be right for them. They are wonderful kids. It will all work out, even if it's not the way you originally thought. You'll use those great-mother instincts, that I know you have, to find the right place for them."

Too bad I'm not as confident as she is.

This not-knowing is killing me!

*An Independent School is a private school who is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.

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