Calm Before the Storm

31 Aug

August is supposed to be a quiet month, the calm, if you will, before the frenetic storm of September and a new school year.  It’s when families go on vacations, relax, and enjoy the last of the fine weather.  What with earthquakes, hurricanes, and visiting colleges, it’s been a busy time and I have not posted in a while.  I hope that those of you who found yourselves in Irene’s path this weekend are safe and that things will be back to normal soon for you.

Around here we have resigned ourselves to the start of school next week.  Every time I mention the new school year, my daughter groans, “Nooooo!”  She has started looking at the Common Application, which has been online since August 1.  She’s also making up her college list and checking it twice, figuring out what needs to be sent to which colleges.  I can see already that it is going to be a lot of work and finding a way to keep everything organized will be crucial.  In addition to the Common App essays, many colleges have a supplement that will usually include additional essays particular to that college.  When she last checked, many of her colleges have not made their supplements available yet.

I imagine that her classmates and other college-bound seniors around the country are doing the same, getting down to the actual process of applying, gathering information, composing essays, and putting it together.  She worries about people asking her where she will be applying, making assumptions about her choices, and her feeling pressure.  Much as I want her to ignore what other people think, I know these fears are real to her.  So we discussed how to handle questions and she has decided that she will not discuss her choices with anyone, be they her friends, her parents’ friends, or casual acquaintances (you’d be surprised how many people have asked about her college choices, from oral surgeons to random strangers in cable cars in Pittsburgh.  No, really.)  I do feel regret that she can’t share her experiences with her friends because they can help each other get through this.  But maybe that’s expecting too much from teenagers.

As for me, I am approaching the new year with some trepidation.  But I hope that my fears will turn out to be like hurricane Earl.  Remember Earl from last year?  At its peak a category 4 storm, by the time it reached up the mid-Atlantic coast, it had veered out to sea, taking its destructive power with it.

We did a lot of praying before and during Irene; we’ll be doing a lot of praying the next few months.

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