Monday, September 24, 2012

College Stresses

Turner Falls, Oklahoma - 2004
When I was young and in my early 20's just poppin' those babies out like no one's business, there were a lot of things I never even considered. One of them was college. I got loans on my own and went to college. I guess I just assumed that, if my kids wanted to go to college, they would do the same. Their father never went to college and, in fact, thinks it's useless and stupid. After all, he owns his own company and makes the "big bucks" with no college degree. We should all follow his lead, right? Even if you want to be an Interior Designer or Music Teacher. Sure.....ugh.

My oldest child has, at this point, chosen not to go to college. In fact, I believe this is his last week as a waiter at Red Robin. He will begin cleaning buildings for his dad's company. He's been cleaning one very close to our house to pay off the car his dad bought him this summer after he totaled the car he was given after my aunt passed away. I suppose he thinks the money is good and the work isn't that hard. Two true statements. I should be thankful that he's made that choice except that he's going to be around his dad more and that isn't always a good thing. People's personalities can rub off on you, especially when it's your parent.

My middle two kids are both in college and it's been a bit stressful. My daughter is going on grants and working and my middle son is going on scholarships and help from his dad. He's got some students lined up to teach, which is amazing to me since he's only a freshman in college, but he is good and will be a great teacher. I can't do much, provide money for food or send groceries home, but I can't help with big money. And I get sad about that. I want to but I just can't. My son thinks he will be able to go through college and not have to have student loans at the end. Well, good luck with that! I don't think it's possible but he does so more power to him. My daughter needs more student loans because she feels the need to be out on her own. I told her this weekend she can come home and sleep on my couch and commute. She didn't like that answer very well.

Waking up at 3:15 this morning from weird dreams and guilt because I can't help my kids is now how I would prefer my life to be right now. I have always been the comforting parent but I have come to realize that I can't put my own stuff on hold just so they can get support for college. I did it on my own and so can they. I just have to make it seem like the bottom isn't going to fall out and that it's possible. Don't drop out is what I tell them. I believe in college whole-heartedly and for both of them, their major is something they've had a passion for since they were in 7th grade. I completely support their choices. Emotional support is what I have now. The financial part will work itself out. That's what I keep telling them and myself. It will

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