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And Then There Were Two (Universities, That Is)

The whole process of selecting and applying to colleges and universities has been a daunting one for my son. There was so much information to wade through, and so many factors to consider. There were applications to complete, essays to write, recommendations to request, and more. It was a strenuous process, to say the least.

The tallies are in, and there are two universities in the running for my son’s heart, mind, and tuition. Today is April 5, and decisions have to be made by May 1. You might think it would be easy, but you would be wrong.

In-state vs. Out of State

It would be nice to have him nearby, at the local university, but I think he might miss out of something by not striking out on his own, away from his high school comfort zone, both in terms of geography and friends.

On the other hand, the other university is SO far away! I would see him far less, and each visit would cost hundreds of dollars. Still, there’s something to be said for striking out on your own.

Cost

Both universities have offered him scholarships and financial aid packages. They’re fairly comparable, but the in-state university has the added bonus of being, well, in-state. They’re both public universities, so they offer reduced tuition rates to residents of their respective states. Obviously our in-state university has a huge advantage here. Between the aid package and the savings we’ve managed to cobble together over the years, he could earn his bachelor’s degree there without any significant (or possibly ANY at all) debt. Wouldn’t that be something in this day and age?! The other university would require some loans from all three of us (him, me, and his father).

Climate

Okay, maybe it’s just the mom in me, but baby it’s COLD out there! Out in the midwest, that is. Yesterday when I looked up the temperature it was 36 degrees! It was 89 at our house, with bright sunshine.

Now I grew up in the Great Lakes region, so cold and gloom are nothing new for me, but my boy is a sunshine kid. He claims not to mind, though. And he DID visit the campus in December. Still, brrr!

Campus

By this I mean the feel of the campus. Does is seem like a place you might like to spend the next four years of your life? Only he can tell that one. Sometimes a place just feels right, you know?

Energy

This is similar to the campus one. What does the energy of the place feel like? Do you get excited thinking about it? Or is it just a place to punch in and punch out? It was clear to me after his December visit that the out of state school had a great energy for him. His eyes lit up talking about all he had seen there. For me that was enough. Ultimately, though, he’s the one who has to make the decision.

Making the Call

Time is ticking and he has to reserve his spot at one of those universities soon. I know he’s torn, but either way he’ll get an excellent education. I support either decision. I just hope he chooses for the reasons that make the most sense for him and his future.

 


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Have You Ever Had the Flu?

sick-in-bed.jpgI figured I had, but now I’m not so sure. This may actually be the first time in my life that I have the real, live, actual, bona fide flu. F.L.U. Influenza, baby, that’s what I’m talking about, and it’s not pretty.

It all started last weekend, my sweetie wasn’t feeling well, and he spent all day Saturday sleeping. All day. Kind of weird, but ok. Then he spent all day Sunday sleeping too. Okay, that was odd. I picked up the kid from his father’s place and headed off to my mom’s for a visit with out of town family. YAY!

We had dinner reservations at 7:30. Nobody told me that. We arrived there at 5:30. Just in time for a nice visit while we waiting for everyone to change out of swimsuits and into dinner clothes. But for some reason time seemed to be dragging. And no, I wasn’t hungry, and no, neither was son. In fact, I was feeling kind of off. And hot. And so was he.

Out came the thermometer, and son clocked in at 100.2 (he very rarely runs a temp, even when he was little and had ear infections all the time he wouldn’t have a fever). When it was my turn I registered 102. OY.

We said our goodbyes and headed out. I dropped son off at his dad’s, then off to bed for me, hopeful that I could sleep it off. At 3 am I could tell it wasn’t going to simply pass, and I called in for a sub. I went in to work at around 6 to set up, only to find out that there would be no sub that day. Son’s father called him in sick to school and reminded me that he was going out of town. Oh yeah.

I made a doctor’s appointment, and got the official diagnosis. On the way out I asked if they could squeeze son in later in the day. They did, and he received his official diagnosis too. Do you know how much Tamilflu costs? Over $100, and that’s with insurance. Oh, and it took visits to separate pharmacies to fill those prescriptions, because apparently I got the last dose at one pharmacy. Then there’s the cough medicine with codeine, which had to be filled later. Five pharmacy trips (to 3 pharmacies) and 2 doctor’s visits later, we finally made it home and crashed. Ah, blissful slumber. Sweetheart was already there, sleeping.

On Tuesday I made a valiant effort to go to work, after all, there was some state testing that needed to be administered. I was too sick to be there, that much was clear to everyone but me. I was more or less escorted out of the building and told not to return the following day. I didn’t. I missed the state capitol field trip. The one where the protestors overran the capitol museum where 100 of our students were touring. Wow. I did make it to school on Thursday, and lasted all day (barely), but yesterday was a day off, one which I needed. I’m still sick. My kid is still sick, and my sweetheart is still sick.

And in case you were wondering, yes, I got my flu shot this year.

This illness is soul-sucking. It is life draining. It is energy zapping. It takes the shine out of your eyes, the smile off of your face, and the joy out of your heart. It makes you hack and wheeze and sniffle and sneeze and belch and fart and sleep and sleep and sleep. It makes you want to curl up in a ball, but you can’t because you’re too hot, so then you stretch out, but then you’re freezing. It makes you want to be a different species. One that doesn’t get flu. Ever. It makes the life of an insect seem momentarily appealing.

I hope you don’t have the flu. I hope you don’t get it. Ever. I hope I don’t get it again. Ever. Ever.


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It Will All Work Out in the End

This is what I tell myself when I face disappointments.

I’m not sure I that I one hundred percent believe it, though. It just seems so trite. I mean, I do believe it, in a big picture kind of way, but in the short term it really doesn’t help.

Today my kid got some disappointing news. It’s not the end of the world, and nobody is hurt or anything, but it sucks.

Yes, I believe it will all work out in the end, but what if the way it works out isn’t as good? Too bad, I guess. We don’t have control over every aspect of our existence. We have to play the hand we’re dealt. And realistically, his hand is still pretty darn good, in spite of this situation.

I hope my son is able to see it that way too. I really do have faith that however things turn out, he will be just fine.

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