Parenting quandary(s) Need input

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by pygmalion, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Agreed. Getting away from Mom is when a lot of growing up happens. And I also think that the social interactions on campus are really valuable and potentially life-changing (in a good way.)


    Besides. I'm single. A kid in the house is cramping my style. ;) *grin*
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    darlin' it cramps my style too :)
  3. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    To add to this--one place undergrad can matter a lot IS that grad program--I probably had the lowest GPA in my year in our grad school department (a B+ overall) and a few of my classmates were curious as to how I'd gotten into the very small program. The reality was most grad programs will treat a B from my ug school as an A from others, as they know my school doesn't inflate and is academically harsh (to wit, a 'pity pass' was a D-, not a C.) We have a very, very good reputation so it looked good when applying to grad programs.

    Besides housekeeping--kids need to learn money management, and I don't mean like paying for college, I mean like "How does a checkbook work?" "Why carrying credit card balances is BAD", and "What is a CD, IRA, money market and why does one invest?" Not to mention what all those witholding things on your paycheck are! And that a credit report is not just something the dude sings about in a commercial. I had to pull them on people when I was doing real estate and there were not a few where I KNEW that deal wasn't happening on one read. I don't know how those people would ever get any sort of credit line.
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Good point, DOI. At the risk of stating the obvious, not all undergrad programs are created equal. However, this does not preclude choosing a state/public university. There are some really good, quite selective programs with good reputations. I just have to guide DS toward one of those, if we decide to go that route.
  5. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Yup. And this ties into the housekeeping issue, too. I remember, freshman year, coming home on break and visiting a friend at my hometown state school. Outside her dorm, we ran into an old high school classmate who was standing at the curb with his laundry basket, waiting for his mother to pick him and it up. I hope he was at least going to do it himself, but who knows. So not my college experience.
  6. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    I plan to live away from home when I go to Uni. The house is not a great study environment, and my sisters are noisy.

    But I think I'm staying home for the first semester...just so I can adjust to Uni with a solid place to live. After that, and once I know more people, I'll move out, into shared accommodation of some kind.
  7. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    I actually think "falling in love" is pretty much as good a reason as any for choosing a school. :)

    YES, I do think it is important to consider a school's academic reputation, programs, strengths, and weaknesses. But there's also a matter of chemistry. It's like with a spouse: you can't just pick the person who looks good on paper.

    I happened to fall in love with a place with a huge academic reputation, so I was lucky to get the best of both worlds. It's nice when the head and the heart come to the same conclusion.

    P.S. By falling in love, I mean falling in love with the school, not falling in love with someone who attends the school!
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Yes, chemistry is important.

    I knew as soon as I walked onto the campus at American that I.was.not.going.there. Academic program be damned. I hated it and was antsy and uncomfortable within 30 seconds. SMC was the exact opposite experience. I felt at home and at peace.

    But also important was the fact that, while I (felt I) was academically ready for anything, I was nowhere near socially ready for a big school. I needed that small, intimate, familial atmosphere that SMC provided. I needed that safety. I was ready to be out of the house (first week of homesickness notwithstanding), but only just. And I consider that as valid of a reason for choosing a small school over a large one as any. I don't think I'd have been mentally OK enough to take advantage of the academics had I gone to somewhere like American.

    Extra special bonus points for the fact of small class sizes (largest classroom on campus held 70; my largest class was ~50 and I was angry about that; my smallest class was 4) and professors who actually taught their own classes.
  9. soshedances

    soshedances Active Member

    My thoughts:

    Re: choosing a school. You gotta choose a school you love, but you've also gotta be able to back it up...this school is a good fit for me because...and you've got to have an idea of how much you can afford, and whether you'll be able to get a job to start paying it off after graduation. Similar considerations in choosing a major, I think.

    Re: paying for school. My parents said to me in high school, "Here's the money we have saved for your education. You can choose whatever school you want, but when that money is gone, it's your loan." I could choose an expensive private school if I wanted to, they would co-sign the loans, but I'd be the one paying it off later, or I could choose a state school and stretch their savings farther. I was lucky...my state school is great for the major I wanted to pursue, so my loans aren't huge and I know my degree will be valued when I look for jobs soon. Plus I am well set-up both financially and academically for graduate study whenever I choose to pursue that.

    Re: working while in school. School has always been my full-time job, but in order to do fun things (oh, and buy food and make my car payment) I need to work somehow. Fortunately I am able to hold 2 part time jobs to make some money AND keep my grades where I'd like them to be. However, if the grades ever slipped, I think my parents would come down on the side of helping me out so that I can keep my GPA happy. They will help me as long as I am either in school full-time, or working full-time, I've got to be helping myself.

    Just my 0.02 as someone who is almost done with college (yay!) and who recently dealt with these decisions.
  10. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    Agreed. And like Peaches, there were certain schools that I knew weren't for me when I visited. It turned out that I chose the school that offered me the most scholarship money, and I often cited that as the reason because I couldn't think of any "good" reason. But it just felt like the right place for me.
  11. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    I've chosen my uni for a couple of reasons.

    It's got a really diverse Arts degree...there are so many subjects to choose from, and they all sound amazing.
    It's got great student life...everyone seems so together.
    It is one of the best Unis in Australia, and in the top 200 in the world.
    And it's got a stunning campus. I love it.
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Not sure why, but I assumed that you were going to uni in a far away state. *shrug*

    Your transition plan sounds reasonable. I'm thinking something similar for DS although, obviously, when the time comes, he'll make the final decision. A couple years on campus and then a nearby apartment that he can share if he wants.

    I think a lot of people take a similar approach. I'm not sure my prepaid college plan even offered a four year on campus housing option.
  13. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    It's actually pretty rare to do that in Aus...there are a few Unis that are especially renowned for certain courses - Melbourne Uni is one of the only places you can study Music Therapy, and ANU (Australian National University) has a great Post-grad research division - but most of the unis are fairly equal.

    My state has 4 Unis, I think...I'm lucky in that the best one (IMO...YMMV) is only a 15 minute drive from me.

    As for housing...Uni accommodation is fairly expensive...$180 a week, and you get only a bedroom to yourself - kitchen, etc. is shared with 4 other people. Food is not provided, but bills are paid.

    I can get a room in a house for $100, with pretty much the same thing. Only difference is that house is bigger, there are fewer rules, and bills are shared. I'm probably taking this option.
  14. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    IMO, that is the most compelling reason to choose a school right there. If a kid's not going to be happy at a particular school, it doesn't matter a poot if the school if highly rated or has a good faculty to student ratio or a great social scene or how much money they offer or whatever.

    A freshman buddy of mine at Northwestern transferred to South Florida after two quarters. No slam against USF, but USF was hardly comparable in ratings and so on. But he was happy there and felt that he fit in, so I think he made a good move (for him).
  15. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    I also went to a small liberal arts college (~1600 students) and now teach at one, so as you can imagine, I highly approve. Big fan of SLACs (as we call them in the biz).

    My smallest class I have ever taught had 4 and my biggest around 25. This semester I had 12, 17, and 22.
  16. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    Yes, that is what I often told parents when I was a campus tour guide.
  17. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    My best friend transferred from the states to study music at University of Melbourne. The first 6 months (or so) she lived in a "uni-lodge", which is like an apartment building only for university students, but not the same thing as a dorm. It was a nice 1-bedroom apartment, furnished, with little kitchen. She said it was expensive, but being totally new to the country, it was a good place to get started.
  18. New in NY

    New in NY New Member

    It is definitely all about fit, both academic and social. I remember pulling into the parking lot of a 20,000 student university with my stepson when we were visiting campuses with him. I took one look at his face and literally drove out of there.
    I attended a small liberal arts college as well (+ junior year abroad) and it was a great fit for me. After working two years, I did my grad work at an Ivy League university and while it was the right place for my course of study, it was not nearly as satisfying an experience overall as my undergraduate years.
  19. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Yeah, grad school is different. Undergrad is about growing up and figuring out who you are as an adult away from your family, so having a good social/emotional fit with the campus community can be as important as the academic opportunities. For grad school, hopefully you're settled enough in your adult identity that the external environment is less important -- nice if it's friendly and collegial, but less important to the choice. At that point, it's basically about career training, not general education or social development. And it's the specific program that matters, both academically and socially, not the university as a whole. I went to a 5000-ish private school for undergrad and one of the country's biggest state schools for grad. I would have hated that school for undergrad -- way too easy to get lost in the crowd -- but for grad school, my social and academic life were centered around the manageable size of my department, and the huge numbers of undergrads running around meant that I got lots of valuable teaching experience along the way. (Btw, in that context, for intro courses, I would actually recommend the grad student instructors. The professors were excellent researchers and teachers for the grad students, but as far as being engaging lecturers and being able to connect the material to the undergraduate understanding, many of the grad students were better than many of the professors.) I had a really good time in grad school, but my emotional connections (and my monetary donations) are with my undergrad alma mater. And I think that has as much to do with life stage as anything else.
  20. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Very well said. :cheers:

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