Sunday, March 28, 2010

College Tours, Take II

I never got to choose my college. My father wanted me to attend BYU. He convinced everyone he knew to steer me toward BYU. The only school we visited was a trade school in San Francisco I had heard of, so he could show me how poorly it compared to BYU. So I ended up--where else?--BYU. And it was a good experience . . . but I've always felt I missed some vital experience by not participating more in the decision. Now I know I did.

Last year Mykell and I had a six hour drive to visit the University of Iowa. The car discussion revolved around her hopes and dreams for the future, her insecurities and fears, and imagining her life away from home. When we arrived in Iowa City, we walked through the vibrant downtown area like students, got T-shirts, toured the campus, and stayed up late eating sandwiches and ice-cream in our hotel room. As a result of that trip, she made UofI her runner-up school, but more importantly, she knew her parents cared for her and would help her through all life's difficult decisions. I missed that experience with my parents.

This year I've been driving Bryce to his top colleges. A few weeks ago we visited the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Friday we saw Purdue. Rose-Hulman comes in July. The long drives and conversations are much the same as last year's with Mykell. Plans are being made. Options are being weighed. And the pressure of such an important decision is crushing. I can see why my father stepped in. But I think I could have made an intelligent college decision myself. That thought was brought home to me as Bryce and I walked across the Purdue campus to tour the different dorm rooms. Some things just feel right.

"I'm realizing just how little time I have left at home with my parents," Bryce said. "And I think I need to take better advantage of your knowledge while I'm around."

"Okay," I said, just a little curious.

"So, what should I look for when I buy my first house?" he asked.

Now see, that's how easy the college decision should be. It looks like we have a future Boilermaker in our midst. Next major decision, please.


Jennie said...

My gosh. I can't believe they are that old. Shouldn't they just be starting high school? I'm so proud of them. They are so smart and talented. Well done you guys! I can't wait to see what is next for them.

Jackee said...

What a great experience. You've convinced me--I'm definitely going to do the same thing with my kids. My dad was like your dad--BYU or NOTHING! (He was afraid of rape stats from Colorado Univ. and CSU.)

Bekah said...

They grow so fast. Hang on as long as you can, and then stay in touch.

Jackee, our dads should have started a womens protection agency. Even at BYU my dad didn't want me getting an apartment, saying 6 girls in an apartment was asking to get raped. I assured him that we wouldn't get raped because of all the men in the building right across from ours, but somehow that didn't appease him. My mom stepped in after that.

Rachel said...

Purdue has a great food science program if he needs a back up. :)

Jackee said...

HI, Bekah! Just wanted to let you know you have an award on my blog.


KarenG said...

Stumbled across your blog and how odd to see BYU, my alma mater, the University of Illinois, where I attended for 2 years, and Purdue University where my dad and my brother in law attended. Kind of like a jerk back to family history!