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It’s been a queasy several weeks around our house. All three of us have had those moments when we thought we were going to be sick.
No, we haven’t had the flu or anything like that. So far we have been spared that.
The thing that is giving us uneasy stomachs is going-off-to-college anxiety. Of course, Jenny and I are not going off to college, but Joe is in the throes of the college application process.
There wasn’t much to it when I went. If you had a B average, you sent in a one-page form to the University of Missouri and you were in. I didn’t have to take the College Board SAT or anything. I think my high school just sent in a copy of my grade report.
Jenny, who is a little younger than me, had to do slightly more than that when she went off to the University of Kentucky. But not much.
For Joe, our high-school senior, it’s been nothing like that. It started more than a year ago when he began taking the ACT and the SAT. He’s pretty bright and soon the college marketing brochures started rolling in from around the country.
“I don’t want to think about it,” was Joe’s standard response.
But now, he – and we – are having to not only think about it, but also go through the process of trying to sort out where he might want to go, where he might get in, and just as important, where we could afford to send him.
And as the time has come to actually send in applications, we’ve become more aware that Joe’s really going to be leaving home next August. Some days, thinking about it makes him – and us -- queasy.
An assistant principal at the high school recently told Jenny that this is a very stressful time for the seniors who are choosing to go to college. It takes extra time to work on the applications, and they have to face the reality that they are really going to leave home.
Probably the fact that we are moving to New Albany at the end of the school year adds to Joe’s stress, as his mother tries to shovel the toys out of the attic, toys that she should have encouraged him to give away years ago.
And Joe’s bedroom furniture probably will not make the trip to New Albany. It’s a little young looking even for a teenager. But the thought of giving it up is one of the things that makes him uneasy – and nostalgic.
Another is the “It’s the last time I will ever do this” syndrome. You know, the last time the band goes to an away game, the last homecoming parade. It seems like every week is the last of something. And we still have seven months of “lasts” to go.
Well, I’ve spent enough time telling you about our queasy season. Besides I have a 16-page college financial-aid form to fill out and I’d better get busy.
I know, too, that it’s only going to get worse before it gets better – the whining, the whimpering, the worrying – and I’m not talking about Joe. For long after the time Joe has settled into a teeny-tiny college dorm room, celebrating his new-found independence with his new-found friends, we’ll be the ones popping the Pepcids.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at email@example.com.