Our district had some exchange days so we all got a four day weekend this past weekend. It lined up perfectly with Candidate’s Day at the university my son will be attending. We packed up and escaped the Colorado spring snow storm and headed east where we basked in the 75 degree days. It was a great getaway for all of us, husband and son included.
Our son decided weeks ago to send in the deposit and commit to his school so this wasn’t a decision making trip. We hadn’t been to campus in well over a year so it was good to touch base again. He walked away after a day of prospective student activities feeling like he belonged. He is happy about his choice, excited for the long list of engineering requirements (wow – and if you can be excited about that, more power to you!), and wishing August were around the corner.
So, what makes someone comfortable with a place? He has no friends there, he didn’t share any long conversations with other students, no one from his high school goes there, and yet he was totally at ease.
At one of the meetings, parents were asking, “Other programs has coops and you do not. Why would we choose you over them?” and “What is your ranking for students placed in high paying jobs upon graduation?” and “What is the average salary of your graduates?” I don’t think any of those families belong at this university. When we model for kids how to make decisions, we lay out the pros and cons, make lists, ask opinions of people we trust, look at the rankings and the data, and compare the heck out of our options. Do we give the same time and attention to fostering the best decision making skill of all – your gut?
My 5th graders can and often do choose what middle school to attend. When their parents ask me where I think their child should go, my response is always the same. “Ignore the data and what you hear from all of your friends. Take your child to all of their choices and then ask them which one felt right.” The advice hasn’t let me down yet.
I should take my own advice more often. Stop, tune into your heart, and then listen to it. My son did and he couldn’t be happier.