#COVID19Chronicles-254: December 18, 2020-“I’m going to college!”

The letter from the first college due to reply was expected at 4.30pm ET on December 17. What would it say? How should she prepare? Was her self-confidence misplaced? Did all those hours spent drafting and revising and having drafts reviewed by her counsellor and parents matter?

At about 4.35, I wondered whether I should offer to hold her hand. But, her cohort of friends is strong and I suspected they were already in remote group hand-holding mode. She had finished online classes about two hours earlier, so was probably having a good crack with them. Then, I heard feet racing down the steps. “I’m going to college!!”

She had her laptop in her hand and pushed it in front of me—in mid-match, as I was watching an exciting Premier League tussle into its final minutes. I read the letter. It was a thrill to see the words ‘offer’ and ‘Congratulations!’

We had a long hug and kisses. I was proud and she should know that.

Education and reaching adulthood are long journeys. Not every child moves well along the road and many falter for no fault of their own or their parents or guardians.

I’m glad my youngest daughter has reached where she wanted to during her secondary school years. She’s actually going to graduate a year earlier than expected when she started formal schooling. Ironically, a move to Jamaica resulted in her skipping 4th grade and moving from 3rd in the USA to 5th here. She’s never really struggled for being ‘under age’.

Going through high school senior year during the COVID pandemic is not something to wish on any child. In-person classes switched to online doesn’t work well for everyone; high-performing students tend to see grades suffer as ranked marking is replaced by pass/fail. Some upside may be that most colleges in North America have decide to be ‘test optional’, because many students were not able to schedule or take SAT/ACT standard tests. So, that ‘blindness’ can work well for students who have good in-school grades but may not be good testers.

Now, the waiting goes on; several more applications are out and will lead to more letters in coming weeks. It’d be nice to have a stack of acceptances to then have to really choose. But, for now, it’s nice that a ‘yes’ is in the bag, and from a school that currently sits high on the list of choices.

Even though this is our third daughter to have progressed to college/university, each time has its own anxieties and stresses. I wasn’t really stressing over the first response, though I wondered how well I had judged our daughter’s attractiveness. Of course, we think she’d be a catch for any school, and how the pool of applications stack up we don’t know, but the admissions departments’ assessments aren’t part of our family that buys into our heart-felt beliefs 🙂

Well done, Rhian!

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)