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Author Topic: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?  (Read 11586 times)

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #60 on: July 14, 2013, 02:28:41 PM »
I had to think about it for a second, but my parents were pretty laid back my last few years of high school and very laid back when I went to college.  I paid for all of my tuition and books, but I was allowed to live at home rent free as long as I worked and went to school full time.  I don't remember them ever asking to see my grades, but they did co-sign on a student loan that I had to take out when I transferred to a state university.

My MIL was the same way with my husband and his siblings....pretty laid back.  She expected them to pay for their tuition and own school supplies, but she allowed them to live at home rent-free.  My FIL was a tiny bit more hands-on, but as far as I know he only went to the first student/parent orientation for my husband and his siblings. 


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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2013, 05:49:10 PM »
Addressing the thread's question, no, you aren't a bad mother. Sadly, there are enough helicopter parents out there that colleges have to address them proactively. Without setting up web sites and such, they'd be fielding questions from parents all day long. Having separate 'parental orientations' helps begin some of the separation process.

High schools also have to deal with this from the college admissions side. My son is a rising senior and we've had, or will have:

  • Mandatory introduction to the process, giving an overview and telling us about the resources available. The main message: "Don't Panic!" I joked later that they should hand out towels.
  • Evening session with admissions officers from 12 colleges and universities, talking about the process from their perspective
  • Application reading session. (We skipped this one) They put you into teams and you're given sample applications to process as if you were an admissions officer.
  • Application preparation workshop. This happens during the summer and the seniors will all get together and work on the Common Application together.
  • Admissions essay writing in English class
  • Student session with college counselor
  • Family session with college counselor

Everything in the admissions process is managed by a web site that the school subscribes to.

Our attitude to a lot of this is, "whatever," but given the questions I've heard in some of these sessions, it's very necessary to keep some parents from going off the deep end.
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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #62 on: July 15, 2013, 06:59:16 AM »
I think you're doing well! I suspect that, as others have said, the 'parents orientation' offered is  about tryng to limit the helicopter parents and let them feel that they have some information.

When I was at university, my parents drive me there at the start of the first term, and wrote me letters while I was there, but other than that it was down to me. I used generally to make my own arrangem,ents for getting to and from university at the end of term and would let them know when I wanted to come so they could meet me from the station - as far as I can recall, they drove up at the start of the first term, the end of the first term, and at the end of the first year (when I moved from a hall of residence into a rented house) and at the end of the final year (moving out of the house) I can't imagine them contacting the University directly!

Even in my post-grad year when I was living back at home to save money, they allowed me to live rent free and use their second car to commute to university daily,but the assumption was that I was responsible for managing my time - they provided sympathy when I was grumbling, but didn't try to run things for me.

I can't remeber whether they drove me to any of the open days while I was applying - I don't think so, although I know they did drive my sister as the colleges she was looking at weren't easily accessible by public transport.

While I was a student, I did come across other students who were very helpless as they'd never had any independence and had never learned to do anything for themselves - I felt at the time, and still feel now, that their parents had not done them any favours at all. One student's mother used to drive up every weekend with a cold box full of single portion frozen home-made meals so all her daughter had to do was to re-heat them. She'd drive back with the week's worth of laundry. Goodness only knows when (or if, or how) the girl ever learned to do anything for herself. The first day we were there the same girl asked me how to make a cup of tea - she had literally never done it. She was 18.