Ok, it's really only Part Seven. There are just days when it feels as though it has been going on a long time and still has a long way to go. Sometimes, I wonder if the college admissions process is really just about endurance--if you can make it through, you'll make it through.
Some of us New York City folks like to believe that we have been
preparing for this process for years. After all, we and our children have
competed for school spots as early as preschool. We have toured and
applied at every level--kindergarten, middle school, high school--and we
have managed to survive with egos relatively intact. Sounds like good
preparation, right? Turns out, there is probably no adequate preparation
for the ego roller coaster involved in the college process. We may
think we've been ramping up, but...
Perhaps it is that this time, the ball is far more in our children's
court, and we parents are participating much more from the bleachers.
Perhaps it is the larger range, both geographically and demographically.
Ultimately, however, I think it is the workout it gives the ego. In
order to write essays and go on interviews and auditions, our kids are
called upon to speak well of themselves. Even the most insecure among
them must toot their own horns, talk about all their activities and
triumphs, make themselves sound like the perfect candidates. And then,
after months of keeping the ego high, they (and therefore, we) face the
remaining months, the ones in which that pumped up ego is deflated with a
combination of non-encouraging emails and flat envelopes. Maybe it is
just an introduction to the ways of life. But it is a rocky road for
I've read the books about how it all turns out fine. I've had the
conversations about how all of this is only a blip in a long life. But
right now, it is hard. It is consuming and exhilarating and exhausting
and debilitating. And while it may feel like Part Fifty-five, it is only
Part Seven. I guess we'd better pace ourselves.