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May 1st: National Candidate Reply Deadline

Here it is May 1 st.   May Day as some in earlier generations might have referred to it. D Day, or National Candidate Reply Deadline, as I have come  to know it this year - the year of raising a senior in high school who is going off to college.

Our house this past week was a whirlwind of decision-making: pros and cons lists, tearful and reassuring hugs, information gathering and advice seeking, and lots of serious computer activity as our oldest narrowed her choices and announced her decision.

Was signing up for college this overwhelming when I did it? When my husband did it?  When you did it?

If it was, I certainly don’t remember it. Age might have clouded my memories of that time, a time when I happily filled out application after application and dreamed of my future.

But it might have more to do with the fact that this time around I am the parent, not the wide-eyed high school senior. Now I am the one with the big responsibilities. The one who knows the consequences of missing a deadline, or not having the money needed.

The one calculating the scholarship and financial aid awards.

The one weighing the cost of enhanced versus basic meal plans.

The one computing the added cost of extra-curricular activities and airplane flights to and from college.

The one stressing about whether the cyber world lost or properly processed the all-important enrollment contract that had to be in by today, May 1st.

Sitting here today on May 1st I think I might rather go back and be the wide-eyed teenager, but for the fact that I would miss out on the wonderfulness of getting to experience life from the vantage point of the parent of such a teenager. And to think I get to do it two more times! I can and cannot wait. 

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