Tuesday, February 5, 2013

They're coming to take her away!

Bringing in the mail these days requires a wheelbarrow.


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.


  1. She's a cutie:). I am referring to the picture you posted on the Dora blog, i'm not a creepy stalker. As a mom, I had to say that first.

    The clock keeps ticking, and I keep tracking my age by that of my children and how well I can remember the grade they are in. It's frightening, I'm old, but they do like Michael Jackson and Johnny Cash, and I can appreciate the wiggle of some LMFAO. Though, I try not to let them know. Seems like they are grown before we blink.

    What a wonderful time for your daughter to focus on finding her passion and learning about her strengths. So many go into college without a plan on what they want to be, aka, do for a living. How can they possibly know if they haven't found what drives them?

    We are great at what we love and it comes easy right? Why stumble on it when she's 40 and unhappy. Give her a chance to get out there in Kato, volunteer, report back on how it felt. If it's just okay, eh, why take a spot doing what your kind of like if that means taking someone else's place, someone else's passion? Keep going until she finds what chose her.

    Such a short window for our youth to be aware enough to care about the future and decide on one. Why not start with what keeps them up at night when it comes to serving our community? Is it hunger, shelter, abuse? Or maybe it is art and music and the stage? Find that, you have a drive and direction needed to get them into any college they choose. Then she can laugh at the junk mail.

  2. Oops, Hannah Montana blog. Not Dora, sorry, it's automatic and my little girls go to.