Tuesday, February 5, 2013
They're coming to take her away!
Colleges. They want my daughter. They want her bad. And they're sending up more postal seduction than we know what to do with.
Never mind the fact that they have no idea if she's even college material. For all they know, she could be one of those people who, in my day, we politely nudged toward the help wanted sign at the factory (which was nearly the case for me thanks to a certain high school guidance counselor who wasn't swayed by my wit or impressed by my smooth use of the English language, but that's neither hear nore their.)
As it turns out, the girl does pretty well in school. And there will come a time in another year or so when our focus will be more directed at the college-related mail coming to the house. But for now, all I can think about is the massive waste taking place, some of which may be paid for by taxpayers around the country.
Duke University, Loyola University in Chicago, the College of St. Catherine's, the University of Minnesota, Creighton University, Grinnell College, Cornell College (though not Cornell University ... what? My daughter not good enough for Big Red? Psha! Whatever!)
The letters are piling up. They all want her to log in to their websites, get email updates, sign up for campus visits and sleepovers ... it's all very cute.
A few months ago my daughter took the PSAT, a sort of prep test, a precursor to the ACT and SAT. And in the registration process, she listed our address. And that address -- and the addresses of families all across Mankato, St. Peter, New Ulm, Minnesota, the Upper Midwest, around the country-- was given to colleges everywhere with aggressive admissions departments who don't feel the need to be selective. They go with a shotgun approach: fire once and hope something hits.
We get it. We know all these colleges aren't pursuing her for any reason other than she wrote our address down. So we're not deluding ourselves.
What does concern me, though, is that eventually, those letters will be real. And we'll have to start making real decisions about her future: schools, roommates, financial aid, whether her pet rat can come along, do I get a car ... I'm not ready for that, yet. Not even close.
So I guess these silly letters, with all their earnest language and their lies about how they know my daughter is a good fit for their campus, are OK. I prefer the silly ignorant letters to the real ones. For now, anyway.