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College Tour Season

October 1, 2018

My daughter is in the heart of college tour season to determine where she wants to go for the next 4 years of her life, so of course you have to sign up for the tours at a bunch of different schools to find the best fit. When you get to the university, you take a group tour with a current student as the guide for the day. The prospective students on the tours are always nice and respectful. It’s the parents that are so crazy and strange on college tours. You can just see the anguish on the kids’ faces as they look mortified at their parents and shoot them a “please act cool and be quiet” look. Because in your group, you have the “know it all” parents who have already sent 5 kids to that college, so they like to talk about that a lot, sing the college song you didn’t even know existed, and point out all the places they’ve created memories at that are so much better than what’s going on now there. Then you have the clueless parents who should know more than they do about college and ask the worst possible questions every two seconds, ruining the entire experience. There’re also the ghost parents, who disappear halfway through the tour, never to be seen again. Nobody has any idea if they were abducted or were just bored and left. Did they need to use the bathroom and got lost? Was there a medical emergency? Should we look for them? Do we call 911? Also, you have your wealthy parents, who make it a point to bring up their yacht schedule and how they’re worried about their Ferrari in the parking lot. Then there are the overly eager parents who stick as close as humanly possible to the tour guide, not letting anybody else enter a room before they do. I feel like telling them to back up off the poor student guide, she’s not the admissions office! On the other end is the care less parents who lagged so far behind there’s no way they can hear anything. When it’s time to break for lunch at the college cafeteria, you’re quite scared that if the food is bad, you’ll discourage them from going there based on your “this tastes horrible thank heavens I’m not going here” face you’re trying desperately not to make. You’ve got to force it down and fake it, no matter what it looks, smells or tastes like. Then it’s time to meet back up and sit through an overview lecture in a huge auditorium with all the other tour groups where you have your “overly participating” parents yelling out answers and questions, interrupting the presentation as often as they can. I don’t know if they are trying to relive their glory days or what is happening? After an exhausting day of walking for miles around the campus, you grab the free cinch sack and ginormous t-shirt they give you with the school logo on it and walk even more to the furthermost distant parking lot to find your car next to the Ferrari with vanity plates, and head out. The key is to judge the school based on the important criteria, and not the knuckle heads you were on the tour with! Good luck to Lauren and all the seniors this year in picking the best college, trade school, job, or branch of the service for them!

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