DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Our daughter had her pick of five schools. Of course, she’s opting to go to the one with the biggest reputation as a party school. We have told her we think this isn’t her best choice, but she comes back with how good the program is she’s going to be in, and that it isn’t as far from home as the other potential choices were.
She worked hard all through high school, and especially hard during these last couple of crazy years. She has always been a serious student and mostly a homebody by choice. We’re concerned she will hate being somewhere where she’ll be the oddball because she isn’t a partier. Our other fear is that she’ll change and become one of those kids who are at the school for the social, not the academic life.
What do we do to prepare our daughter for what she’s walking into in a couple of months? --- PARENTS OF A SERIOUS STUDENT
DEAR PARENTS OF A SERIOUS STUDENT: This is going to be a learning experience for you all. Your daughter will find her own path, even though it may not be the ideal one to a parent’s way of thinking.
Many kids go to “party schools” and succeed academically. They’re the kids who usually find like-minded friends, who make their own social life. And yes, there are the kids who go a little nuts with their first taste of freedom. That doesn’t mean they’re on the road to self-destruction. It’s just a part of growing up. I’ve known plenty of folks from both my own and more recent generations who’ve naturally soured on the wilder life without suffering any permanent damage.