Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Senior Deadlines

I hate deadlines. Ouch, one of my sons (you know who you are) is going to tell me that you can only hate sin and the devil! Can you guess who he learned that from? I hate missing important deadlines, but I think maybe it might actually be a sin, so it's all right, son. Okay, dear readers, please don't take me too seriously. I'm speaking lightly here. And prospective editors, if you give me a deadline, I can meet it. The problem is having a whole year (or two or three) full of deadlines...and not knowing what they are! I speak of the senior year of high school!

You'd think by Kid #6 I would have it down pat. All figured out. No sweat. Nope! You know why? Because the parameters keep changing. Yeah, I didn't know what that word meant either but I thought it sounded good. (My dog-eared Webster says: "a quantity or constant whose value varies with the circumstances of its application". Perfect!).

With our first two, when we lived in Kentucky, there was one college to choose from (or that's how we saw it, anyway, as we wanted them to go locally). So they took their A.C.T., applied, had their transcripts sent from the home school program they were enrolled with, and they were all set (of course, they did most of the work in their high school years...not only getting through the schoolwork, but getting jobs, buying cars, paying for gas). Child #3 wasn't enrolled with a program, so I had to make up my own transcript for him and get it notarized. Just a little more work...but he went to the same local school in Kentucky.

After we moved to Baltimore, Kid #4 took a year off for the move, worked full time, and applied for college the next year. We heard they were offering very substantial scholarships - neither need-based nor merit-based - at University of Baltimore, because it was their first year opening up to Freshmen and Sophomores. Come Child #5, the very next year, they were still raking students into the new program with scholarships. So those decisions were no-brainers.

Enter Child #6. He would like to go to a really great Catholic college in another state. If that doesn't work out, he has a myriad of possibilities here in Baltimore to choose from. And no, I'm not going to tell you what deadlines we missed. I'm trying really hard not to kick myself too much, because I've done enough of that in my lifetime to...well, to last a lifetime. And if I tell you, I will have to kick myself. So we just take it from here...give it to God and move on.

But if you have any kids who will one day be seniors, I have a little advice that I wish I had thought of a long time ago. Put together (or find) a timeline...not a history timeline but a planning timeline. You can do a search. I found this one just now that looks pretty good, though I can't tell you how good it really is, not having used it (more's the pity). And when you're thinking about colleges (round about the beginning of the junior year maybe?), I would like to suggest you find out what their application deadlines are, because it varies widely from school to school. Who'd have thought?

When we get done with this, maybe I should put together (or find) a different type of senior timeline. When we get ready to retire, what do we need to do when? But I don't think I'm ready to think about that, just yet.

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