Many parents dream for their children to not only get a college education, but to also get one from their alma mater. They imagine packing up the car together for alumni events, sharing the same traditions, and sometimes acknowledging the same professors (“Dr. So-and-So is older than dirt!“).
But not all high school students have the same dream as their parents, which is OK. Here are some tips to remember when it comes to dealing with your child who doesn’t want to go to the school you lovingly called home for four years.
1. They are forging their own path. College is a time of independence and freedom. Your son or daughter may crave this, especially the idea of becoming their own person. Just go with it. Ultimately, you’ve got to realize what’s best for them—not for you.
2. Results may vary. While you had an amazing time at the school, your child might not have the same experience, which in turn could ruin your association with the school. Instead of images of fall days reading in the quad, your school conjures up scenes of driving to campus to pick up your son or daughter every weekend because they’re miserable.
3. It doesn’t mean they hate you. Don’t take it too personally when they dis your undergrad school. It’s their way of rebelling! Think of it this way: If someone tells you that a movie is the funniest movie ever made every day for a week before you see said movie, you’re not going to really want to enjoy it once Friday rolls around, only because you kinda want to prove them wrong. It’s called Schadenfreude.
4. The past remains the past. It will be nice not to be reminded of your carefree (and possibly illegal) shenanigans when you visit them. You won’t have to mine questions from your son or daughter like, “Did you ever defy the honor code?” or “Did Roy Rogers get off of his horse when you graduated, Mom?” Plus, with the omniscient knowledge of the mischief and trouble that’s possible on your campus grounds, you may spend four years worrying about your son or daughter instead of letting them figure out things for themselves.