Thursday, August 3, 2006

The Old College Try

As my son gets ready to enter his sophomore year of high school, I'm getting more and more concerned about college. Not the money, necessarily: it's pretty much a given that we just need to direct deposit all our paychecks into the school's bank accounts until likely the next millenium, and move into a homeless shelter. That hasn't changed, but the application process is beginning to freak me out.

When I applied for college, the procedure was simple: grab a sturdy pen, fill out the paper application (if you were really a show off, you could type in your answers). Write a lame ass essay detailing the one meeting of the Future Business Leaders of America you attended (the one where you decided you would rather spend your time with MTV). Collect a $25 check from your parents. Affix stamp. Wait.

Real applications were for people who applied to colleges whose names bore no trace of their geographical location. The rest of us applied to State U, and U of State, and were pretty much accepted into everything as long as we could send in a huge chunk of money immediately.

Times? They have'a changed, my friends.

A coworker's son wants to learn to make films. Read: liberal arts. Unless you are planning on attending NYU (one of the universities which never fit neatly into the name/geography example), learning to make movies just should not have involved his writing disserations. In total, he applied to three schools, and wrote over ten essays.

TEN. ESSAYS.

My son can communicate the entire agenda of his month in two sentences or less. He is a master at conducting a conversation during which his only contribution is "Yes", "No", or "Uh-huh." I am more than a little concerned about what kind of essay he'll be writing so I can pay over a hundred bucks to send in his application to a Maryland state school, which could very likely reject him if he has less than a high B average.

Is nothing sacred? Since when is a C average not good enough to guarantee you a degree, a slot in middle management, and four bedrooms in the suburbs? I read once that the rising generation will probably be the first who will not do as well or better than their parents financially or materially (apparently, no one can envision something bigger than the McMansions). I personally think kids are going to smack into their first hurdle as soon as they realize they need to pen a five thousand word essay detailing how they plan to reverse global warming if they are accepted into the school.

My poor child. Clearly, all this time, I have been raising him as if this is 1986. You know - do your best, follow your dreams, and you'll find success.

Bullshit. This is 2006, and I have three years to start making the appropriate connections and offering sexual favors in exchange for his acceptance into a school no one outside of the state has ever heard of. I'll have to add 'blatent bribes' as a line item detail for his college budget.

Otherwise, we may be stuck choosing from schools which have infomercials at 3am. Sally Struthers will direct him to a career of TV/VCR repair. And. He'll never, ever move out.

Maybe I'll write the damn essays myself. :)

1 comment:

Missy said...

LOL...we're going through some of this too. Iyiyiyiyiyi!