Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Heading to College

Next week right about this time I'm scheduled to take my son to college. When we visited in May the campus seemed rather intimidating and beautiful but in a Harry Potter sort of way if you know what I mean. The campus you see is huge and green and kept in tip top shape and the architecture is unmistakeably Gothic in style. The place simply breathes history and excellence and starting next Tuesday my son will be spending the next four years of his life in this environment where he will no doubt undergo life changing experiences.

To get ready he had to:

  • Apply for his student visa. Luckily we had been through this before when he got accepted to boarding school so we knew the ropes including the payment of the SEVIS fee, the completion of the various application forms, the taking of photographs, the submission of acceptance letter, proof of finances (thank God for financial aid), the waiting in line, the interview and finally return of passport with visa.
  • Do his medical. Yes your immunization record has to be up to date and some stuff that you might never have heard of before will be required like mantoux tests. If not you won't be registered. That was quite a headache but after the inoculation and testing and letter writing (for those who wish medical exemption etc) and another bill payment at least there was one bright note with my choice of almonds for the picking.
  • Read a ton of stuff. The school sent loads of emails and attachments along with regular snail mail during the summer. There is so much paper once you print and collate everything. There are forms relating to college employment, room assignments, foriegn language placement and course choices. There are cute colorful cards directing you to websites or other wonderful places like laundry agencies or outside stores and where to go when moving in.
  • Pay his fee. Nope he didn't. The salary he earned this summer just didn't cut it so that was our job but he has saved his money for the things he plans to pay for like the cell phone and the related bills. Who you're gonna call? ....is what I'd like to know. Somehow I don't think it's me.:)
  • Discuss money. Yeah this is a biggie and related to the one above. These days seemingly more than ever budgeting is critical. He won't be getting a credit card but will participate in the debit card thingy at his school and will open a bank account. This will be a good learning experience.
  • Buy Small Stuff at Home. One of the benefits of attending boarding school is that you understand pretty quickly how easy it is to buy too much stuff and how storage can become a problem. Since my son went to boarding school in a wintry place, he loved taking tropical posters and other little things to remind him off home. He'll do it again for college. Nothing like having the sun setting over the ocean while it's 10 degrees out. When you are traveling by plane however it can get costly and also dorm rooms aren't that big so it will basically be the small stuff.
  • Make a list. For all the other things we will have to do when we get there.
He can't wait.


Stephanie Faris said...

Exhausting...but well worth every minute of it. It's such an exciting time for him!

WhisperingWriter said...

Oh yes, the money thing is a big one. So many people get themselves in trouble with credit cards at a young age.

Sara E said...

it seems like he is going to be pretty prepared ... so exciting for all of you :)

{Kiki} said...

What a wonderful and exciting time for you and your son. I have such fond memories of college. I would love to go back and get a Master's degree. Baby steps. I plan on going back to work when lil' D gets into Elementary. I am dreading the day he leaves me for college. I tell everyone I am going with him. I will be the den mother in his frat house, or get an apt. in town. Thanks for stopping by my blog and take care.

MaryRC said...

money money money, kids are so expensive these days, and i was just complaining about the $200 i spent to send my 4th and 7th grader back to school.

thanks for dropping by my blog...

Debbie said...

I took one last week and one this week. Oh, the pain. And the joy. I hope you both do well!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Thank you for the support my friend!! And I have Kleenex to spare so come on over. We'll have a "bawl" together!! :) Oh, it just rips my heart out but when they're ready, they're ready. So, off they go then. Kleenex is gonna have a good year!

Windyridge said...

My boy goes next year. Good luck to your son!

♥ Teresa ♥ said...

Oh, this is a subject that nearly reduces me to tears right now! Our daughter, 'M', will go off to college next fall and I am already in a state of depression about it. ;0( I'm experiencing 'empty nest syndrome' and she hasn't even left yet! Not to mention the fact that we'll still have our youngest daughter here for another two years when she does leave! LOL! Sad, isn't it? It just seems unreal that she is already almost old enough to live on her own. By herself. Without her mom. *sniff sniff* Where did all the time go?!?

Am I to assume from the photo you posted that you are recommending this book from Amazon? Our oldest did not go to college because she busied herself with becoming a mother and then a wife instead. Therefore, this is all very new to us so I really need all the advice I can get. 'M' is very, very talented in music, as well as, her academics and will most likely get some kind of scholarship(s) but I know we will still be applying for financial aid, grants, loans, etc. Any other advice you have to offer would be greatly appreciated!!

BTW, I'm so very glad to see you declare, NO CREDIT CARDS! YAY! It makes my blood boil to see these credit card companies hand out cards to our young adults who are just starting out with no means of paying them back. It is ridiculous! I do not like credit cards, period, for any reason. But I especially DETEST these companies who dole them out to unsuspecting, unemployed, college students who have never been thoroughly educated on the ramifications of their use. Some say don't blame the companies, blame the parents - and to some extent I do blame parents. However, when a company gives a young adult with NO JOB a credit card, they are ultimately the ones who are responsible, IMO!

*OK, off my soapbox!*

I hope you are having a wonderful time next week and that your trip goes well. See ya soon!


Teresa <><

30 Things You May Not Know...


Anonymous said...

Tell me about it D, I am fully aware of the requirements etc. Good luck to you and the lad