And So It Begins…

As a rising senior in high school, my daughter’s been pondering the next steps in her life, mainly surrounding where she wants to go to college, and what she wants to study. We’ve spent the last couple of weeks touring colleges, and I thought that the insight we’ve gained during this process might prove useful to others, so I’ve decided to chronicle our journey as parents.

First, I’ll give some of the back story on how we got here: She’s wanted to go to UCLA since she was in middle school. I’m not sure what triggered that, but it’s been the goal. She’s been in smaller schools in our city since kindergarten, so she’s never really had the feel for what a large school would be like. Regardless, she’s been determined to be a Bruin, and failing that, go to school somewhere in southern California. Fast-forward to the end of her Junior year, and nothing’s changed. We live on the east coast, so this is definitely a big move.

As her parents, we’ve been supportive of this. We attended a college fair last year, and did require that she look over colleges in other areas (namely Florida) to see what she might be missing. While she did find a couple of schools in Florida that looked interesting, southern California remained her priority. For us, this meant doing whatever we could to put together a trip out there to tour schools. Now, travelling across the country to look at schools isn’t exactly something that most kids get to do, I recognize that. I didn’t have that opportunity, and neither did my wife.

Now that we’ve actually done the trip, I see just how much of a difference it can make in a child’s selection of a school, so I’m hoping that by chronicling our trip, the visits to each school, and what happens over the next few months, we can help others who are on a similar journey. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to comment. I intend on this being an open discussion, and am happy to answer anything thrown my way.

I’ll get another post up tomorrow kicking things off by discussing what we were all looking for going in, what our expectations were, how we planned, etc.

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3 thoughts on “And So It Begins…

  1. Hi, I’m curious as to what your daughters reasoning is for wanting to leave the east coast for college and if you’ve discussed/she understands college debt and loans. I don’t mean any disrespect, I only ask this because I’ve found that many students going off to college seem to ignore the reality of their choices and the impact it will have on their financial future. I think many college students act as if college is a break from reality, and in many ways it is. Will she be required to work while at school? Who is going to pay her tuition, bills, food, travel, etc? I only ask because I am trying to understand why students make this decision so often and parents support it without hesitation (a main focus of my blog about challenges facing recent graduates) so please do not take this comment the wrong way.

    • I don’t read that as disrespectful at all! It’s actually a common question we’ve gotten from friends and family as well. I do intend to address what you’ve asked in my next post, as I think it’s important to the discussion. I expect that some will disagree with a couple of my answers, but in the end, they’re our decisions to make. That’s my long way of saying: Stay tuned, the next post will cover it 🙂

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