There’s a summer ritual that many high school “rising seniors” embark upon to determine their future. These bright eyed teens abandon the beach, take a break from their summer jobs and put down the game controllers just long enough to make the trek to ivy covered buildings and tree lined pathways where they will spend the next four to five years of their lives matriculating. I am speaking of course about the college road trip.
The road trip. Not to be confused with the one that your son or daughter will inevitably take with their friends during their college experience, but the one where family members pile into the car, drive insane amount of miles and wake up in different hotel rooms trying to remember, “is the tour starting from the Visitor’s Center or the admissions building?” It’s the one where you, the parent, are interested in the academics of the institution while your child is looking at the location of Greek row and the football schedule. The one where you suddenly become nostalgic for your own school mascot, suddenly feel your real age and realize, wow, I didn’t take advantage to nearly enough when I went to school.
The reasoning behind this trip is, of course, choosing which school is going to be the right fit. Students face a daunting task of determining which university will offer the perfect blend and balance of their preferred course of study, academic prestige, extra curricular activities and naturally, the overall collegiate environment. So whether your rising senior ultimately becomes a Bear, Tiger, or Dawg; a Vol, a Terp, or a Gator, take heart – this will be one of the last truly "together" experiences you will share with your teen and one that both of you will remember for a lifetime.