Help Me Read Kid's Mind

<p>Well, we still haven't a decision. I wish I were a mind reader, but the fact is, I don't know what is going on behind that inscrutable look of son. He has some great options, Swat, Pomona, Wash U, Brown, all things paid at Rhodes, tuition paid at Sewanee. No idea what is next. They are all hard to turn down, is the problem. Financial aid is good at Pomona and Swat, more difficult to manage but still workable at Wash U and Brown. He likes the notion of lots of stuff going on in a city, especially is drawn to Philly since his sister is there, is a HARD worker, but is not the driven-constantly-loves-to-work type that his sister is. Son is musical, loves languages, may go into the ministry, loves sports, can run well but not well enough for Division I, isn't worried about cold weather, is fun-loving, quite social but not a fraternity type or partier, at least at this point. Doesn't really want to be around alcohol 24/7 every weekend. </p>

<p>Any ideas? I may be missing something, but I think this is a tough one. Can't get a grip on it, and don't know how to advise, apart from the rational list this and that type of thing. It doesn't help that son is out of town on a soccer trip and won't even be thinking about this.</p>

<p>Is it a clue that he and his dad bought a Brown hat when they visited over the weekend? Don't know if the hat was for SON or DAD!</p>

<p>Our S made a decison a few days before the deadine since he was leaving the next day for a band trip. He said one school that night and a different one the next morning on the way to the trip. I was tempted to call him on the trip during the two days left before the deadline to see if he reconsidered. It took strength not to call. Angst galore. Talk about stress. "I feel your pain". </p>

<p>The good news is that your s has many excellent choices and will be successful at any of them. Some kids seem to have a very strong preference early on while others are more open minded and perhaps can see them selves in a variety of settings. So it could be a good trait even though it is driving you crazy. Rest assured, he will decide.</p>

<p>I'd say Swat myself, hat or no hat.</p>

<p>I vote Brown. Swat isn't in the city - at best you'd see it on a few weekends every semester. (and not "driven-loves-to-work"...isn't that Swat's motto?) Nice to have choices! (I'd choose Pomona second.)</p>

Regarding your points about what he likes/wants:
1) Religion is a good department at Swat. My son enjoys his religion class he's taking. But your son may not be a religion major, right?
Anyway, Professor Hopkins is very impressive. I don't know if your D took his classes.
2) Sports is not big at Swat. But they have ok track and field for Division 3. It isn't rah-rah, sports, though, so if that's what he wants, then Swat is probably not for him. But the Garnet Tide does well in D3 competition.
3) Lots of Swat kids are not working 24/7 but you probably know that.
4) Language department is good at Swat...but they don't have the same options as say Penn. I don't know about Brown. Brown probably has more options in terms of languages.
5) Swat is close to Philly but WashU is in a city, so....and then there IS the Swat bubble.</p>

<p>By the way, my son goes to Philly quite often. At least twice in a month. But as Mini said, it isn't in the city. WashU and Brown are..</p>

<p>Dogs, bless you, you comfort me. I know this will pass! I just have always been one who likes things settled, a "J" on the Myers-Briggs type indicator! Son is a "P" who would like to keep the options open. Crazy-making combo.</p>

<p>Marite, you may indeed be a mind-reader. He did hint that Swat would be the hardest to turn down since it had so much to offer. . . and his sister is doing the most intense arm-twisting job I have witnessed; she even got her Swat-grad fiance on the phone with s the other day to wrench it one last time. But do you think a slightly more laid-back kid would be happy there?</p>

<p>momofthree, if it's possible, I would recommend that his sister not arm-twist him.....I know she means well. But this is a decision he has to live with for 4 years.</p>

<p>I say Pomona- he could run there and the weather is perfect for a runner.</p>

<p>Achat, </p>

<p>I think this child would be on the train to Philly for every Philadelphia Orchestra concert offered, and my D, who will have a two-bedroom apartment when she gets married this summer, could put him up. So that, too, is a draw. But he would have to work, not just play!!! He is not a rah rah type, but loved the idea of Brown having a hockey rink (would just be an observer); we have the NHL Predators in Nashville and he loves hockey, but he might be able to RUN track at Swat, and likes to run in cool weather. He claims Pomona was his idea, I thought it was the GF's, but he says it was his; it is down the list. She was waitlisted anyway, and is going to Chicago.</p>

<p>Achat, I think I will call D and tell her to lay off. At first I think she was just trying to make him see it her way (a life-long pattern, she loves him dearly and is very certain of her rightness about stuff) but now it is time for her to cease it. I think I will buzz her tonight to say so.</p>

<p>Momofthree, if I had a daughter graduated from Swat, and a son....I'd tell him to make up his mind and secretly hope he'd pick another college than Swat. The reason is, I wouldn't want him to follow in his sister's footsteps. I'd want him to make his own way. A roomful of Swatties in the family....hmm.. So I'm sort-of rooting for Brown.</p>

<p>All his life, son has been forced to follow his sister's path since he has gone to the same small school she attended. He did make his very own way here. . .she hasn't got an athletic bone in her body, but I think the expectations on him would be real when he got to Swat, especially since at least one area he wants to study is one she majored in. I have thought myself many times that I would like him to have that sense of being totally free to do his own thing. Interestingly, one reason he does not want to take the Bellingrath at Rhodes is that he does not want to have that set of expectations to shoulder either. You all are wonderful to weigh in so thoughtfully.</p>

<p>"All his life, son has been forced to follow his sister's path since he has gone to the same small school she attended."</p>

<p>That itself says, he should make his own I know I'm rooting for Brown. I don't know anything about Pomona but when my son and I visited, we both loved Brown. Then he changed his mind about a Core curriculum. </p>

<p>Anyway, at Swat, he WOULD be expected to study hard.</p>

<p>Ah, I thought Sis was at Penn. If she is at Swat, he should go to Brown. Big sisters are the worst (I know, being one myself), worse than big brothers, except for younger brothers (having one myself as well). </p>


<p>I'd say Brown or Pomona then. Pomona for D3 and Brown for city access/laid back attitude; both offer all the other things he's looking for. Obviously Swat would be on this short list if not for following sis aspect. Also, I do not get the impression that Swat is laid back. But Swat may win on less boozing.</p>

<p>If you have specific questions about Brown PM me. I LOVED Brown. Brown changed my life. </p>

<p>But if athletics are important, then this is a big factor... My own D did not apply to Brown, because continuing her sport was so important to her.</p>

<p>You son has incredible choices. Congratulations!</p>

<p>Thanks again friends! Marite, I am afraid I have confused the issue. D graduated from Swat last year and is at Penn in grad school now, that is why she would be close, and perhaps too close in the sense of legacy. (How ironic, sorta.) </p>

<p>Achat, I did make the call to D, who is about to go sing in a concert at Penn (I am so happy she is still singing) and I caught her just in time time. She said she had talked to S a couple of days ago, and that at that time, he was leaning about 75% toward Brown! Well that is news!! I suggested, using your gentle tone, that she might want to just let him decide now, and she agreed not to try to influence him in ANY direction (i.e. she wouldn't actively support Brown and wouldn't push Swat either....about as close to a compromise as she ever gets.)</p>

<p>SBMOM, thanks for sharing the good thoughts! I appreciate your words about Brown. I think the sports are important to son, but that he would be happy to do intramurals, doesn't have to be on a competitive team. I think he just needs the physical outlet. It may be that the level of sports at Brown would be just right for him as a spectator. I will PM ya as questions arise. Am I right that you interview for Brown? The person who interviewed son lives here in our small TN town, he's a writer. He is crazy about the place. The Brown-grad business manager at son's school, who is a live wire, emailed son to tell him it was the most spectacular place, and that if he went there, she would give him some spending money!!! Can you believe that?</p>

<p>Washu is in a leafy suburb. It has a gritty shopping district on one side that could be St Marks Place on a rainy day--but that's the limit. That's not a school for a kid who wants to live in a city city.</p>


<p>Wow, Mini, Cheers, SBMom, Achat, Marite all agree Brown. And with momofwildchild suggesting Pomona for running and Pomona being a close second in the minds of others, it narrows it down. Just wonder if he still leans toward Brown. I think THE HAT (Brown hat) went with him on the soccer trip. I wish I could be a fly on the wall to see if he is wearing it.</p>

<p>Momofthree, he'll get to that decision eventually. And it will be exactly right. Life is full of "processes" we can only endure. I'm comforted by the fact that time WILL pass and results will come. (On the other hand, there are many times I wish time wouldn't pass quite so quickly) </p>

<p>I've got an older daughter and younger son dynamic, too. What is it about older daughters that makes them so bossy?</p>