Parents of the HS Class of 2021 (Part 3)

We didn’t qualify for need aid, but at my D’s school there are options for experience grants. She applied for these and was able to get the majority of costs covered. She also had a stipend available with her merit scholarship so she’s using a portion of that. We’re personally covering the travel and extra spending (the program includes a small stipend).

ETA: I think there’s something on the SIT site about a grant/scholarship… I’m not sure if it’s need based.


Thank you.

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Love all these updates!

My D21 is really happy and challenged at Wooster and despite us wishing it was closer, I’m so glad that’s where she chose to go. She had a good freshman year but sophomore year is really when she found her footing. She is a Global and International Studies major with a French minor and recently declared a Global Impacts pathway to help her prepare to apply to the Peace Corps after graduation. She joined a sorority her freshman year (they are very low-key and not typical sorority there) and has made such a wonderful group of like-minded friends that she has so much fun with. During her freshman year, She was asked by her International Relations professor to become part of Model UN, and although she doesn’t travel to conferences, she works as part of the research team. This same IR professor has also asked her to TA for him for both her junior and senior years and she’s very excited about that. The main reason she doesn’t do the MUN conferences is that she still enjoys dancing and the performances always fall on the same weekends as the conferences in the fall and the spring. She is one of the two student coordinators of the COW Dance Company and this year joined the exec board for the Wooster Volunteer Network, which coordinates and executes various volunteer opportunities for students throughout the Wooster community. She will be staying on campus at Wooster until 7/8 for a Social Justice internship funded by her school, working with an agency that helps domestic violence victims in the Wooster area. Next spring she will be studying abroad in Switzerland (also a SIT program in international diplomacy).

After the internship this summer, I am going to love having her home for about 5 weeks and hopefully she will be waiting tables! The past 2 years she’s worked as a lifeguard, but I’m not sure she can just jump into that with all the training required, but TBD, I guess. They are always short-staffed on lifeguards so who knows. :slight_smile:

Continued good wishes for all your kids!


Don’t usually post, but my DS is absolutely thriving at Colgate. We are SoCal and he is not involved in the Greek scene. Experiences can differ!


Good to hear. Our DS is incoming freshman and we are from CA as well. It’s been helpful to get on the ground feedback about Colgate from folks like you and Homerdog and realize experiences are broad and vary. Happy to hear your S is enjoying himself! My wife and I are nervous for him but he has zero concern. So that’s reassuring at least!


Hello everyone, if anyone remembers, I am the merit chasing mom. D ended up at our local instate public (Texas Tech) because the amount of merit from dept and admission cover full cost of attendance, allowing her to live on campus. In, addition Covid changed D’s mind about going really far (chasing merit requires great flexibility).
It turned out to be a blessing, as D’s mental health took a nose dive this spring semester with severe depression , terrible distorted negative thinking and self harming behavior. She started new pysch meds and it was nice to have her home to monitor her for a week or so while she commuted to school(She did not want to withdrawl for the semester, nor did the pysch doc think it would be helpful. She started seeing the psychiatrist and psychologist through student health that have been amazingly helpful. She gets weekly counseling from an student health LPC and sees the pysch doc every 4 weeks tweaking meds. While she is away at her internship, the counseling continues over telemed.
I don’t doubt this type of mental health is available at many schools, I have been very impressed with her university’s behavior health dept in student health. As a bonus, her dorm is right next to student health. She has come a long way the treatment road will be long but going in the right direction (CBT: Cognitive Behavior Therapy).
So that is where we are. D is loving her internship, she could see herself doing this for a living, much more practical and hands on than the abstract courses. (Electrical engineering major).
Oh in other news, D received a 7, 500 renewable scholarship from the EE dept. So that brings up her merit to 35K a year, of which is 26K is from engineering. Hope everyone’s kids are doing well this summer.


Hi - I remember you as a fellow merit-seeking mom from way back in that old NMF hopeful thread!

I’m so sorry to hear about your D. Depression can happen to ANYONE: none of our kids are immune. The good news is that kids really do get better – I’m a primary care MD who has seen this happen over and over (and over!) with my adolescent patients.
And yes, it was all for the best to have her close to home, and even more importantly, sounds like she’s getting excellent care there.

Best wishes for a (relatively) speedy and complete recovery.


Thank you so much!

D drove back from her 12 week internship in Dallas this evening. Loved what she was doing, the mentoring and relaxed vibe of the department. Got a return offer for next summer. But she absolutely hated the traffic. I was hoping she would get used to it. She’s still going to apply to other internships, hoping to land in a smaller city next time. Moves into the dorm this Sunday. And Goes back to work at her on campus job tomorrow. She is feeling so much more mentally stronger now and has had zero self harm since the spring semester. Has appts with face to face counselor and pysch doc next week. Classes start next Thursday. We have a good plan for this semester and discussed what classes could be dropped if she feels the work load is to heavy. Here’s hopping for a great semester all our kiddos.


Hi there! Just checking in after a long absence…happy to hear how all the kids are doing…it sounds as if even those who have faced hard challenges are finding ways to thrive and survive.

My D regularly stresses herself (she is always a little anxious about the future, worries whether she is doing “enough.” I wish she could relax some of that, to live more spontaneously and fully in the present. Still, she is doing well from any objective standpoint and overall is happy. I think it’s just that I am the one who helps her process the anxieties so I hear about them!

She has a nice apartment with three others on the edge of campus, has a good group of friends, a nice boyfriend (who was first a close friend for months before they dated), is in a sorority, an honors fraternity, guides prospective student tours and just joined a junior moot court team. She has decided to to a senior honors thesis for English with a double major in history…the history is a recent thing, as she realized she really enjoys those great W&M history classes more than any other electives and she is almost finished with the English major requirements anyway. Of course, there are lots of US colonial history classes (Williamsburg, and all) but there are also some really fascinating contemporary and global courses too.

At this time D has set her sights on law school (who knows…things could change). She’s hoping to go straight into law school, but many schools prefer applicants to have a year or more of work experience. This past summer (and half of the previous summer) she worked as a paid intern for a couple of judges at our local courthouse. She’s really worried about how to take the next step toward something a little more ambitious that could either get her foot in the door for a job after graduation or help with law school admissions, and decided to apply to W&M’s DC summer institute. Those accepted can live in a dorm-like setting in the middle of DC, take two weeks of intensive classes, and then do an internship for ten weeks….the sky is the limit for internships…anything from Congressional offices to non-profits, to major news organizations such as Washington Post, NPR etc. Students have to interview for the internships, but the program helps students in the program to search and find opportunities. This is such a critical step-up for students who don’t live in or near big metropolitan areas and don’t have family networking connections. It’s especially great for students (like my daughter) with humanities degrees not aiming for graduate school in the humanities or teaching. Otherwise, getting a foot in the door and making that transition to the world of work can be a little daunting. She had been thinking of doing a January short course in New Zealand, but for the money, decided that the summer institute might be the better option for her long term. I had hoped that she would do a semester abroad somewhere, but she did get to do five weeks in Florence after freshman year and I’m grateful that she got that experience.


@cormac05, I get really excited when I hear of young people (or older people!) joining the Peace Corps! I did it twice, on two continents and worked for a year as a lowly assistant in the Peace Corps placement office. Back in the day (when everything was done by snail mail or landline phone) I was the one who got to (among other things) mail out the long-awaited packets announcing an applicant’s placement or to tell them the happy news over the phone. The best was when an applicant called to ask for an update on his application and I got to tell him that he had been selected to be the swim coach for the Olympic team of the Seychelles. :swimming_woman:t5::desert_island:. Not a bad way to spend a couple of years!

Many of my best old friends around the country were PCVs with me…it’s a lifelong connection. Peace Corps has changed a lot over the years, as the world has changed, but some things (the enthusiasm for it) remain the same. Sounds like your D is truly the Peace Corps type and is getting great preparation. I would love to hear one day where she ends up.


S21 is at school this year for the clubs :slight_smile: No longer considering completion in three years, is taking another light and easy course load while filling his schedule with the gymnastics, wakeboarding, quidditch and a half dozen IM clubs/teams. Plenty of social events with his original group of friends from honors/Turing at UT Austin.

I’m pushing him to try his luck again at some of the top of the line internships. He’ll have some great options for the summer if he starts soon.


Great to hear from you and that your daughter is thriving at W&M.

Law admission school is really all about GPA and LSAT. There does appear to be some correlation between working for a year or two and law school admission. However I think some of that is those folks having more time to study for LSATs.

My D18 graduated in 3 years and went right to law school. Based on her grades and LSATs she got full tuition scholarships at 3 schools ranked 21-25. She chose UF because in addition to tuition scholarship they have her a living stipend so law school is free.

I guess I would give 3 pieces of advice as a lawyer and a daughter in law school.

  1. And this was my advice to my daughter when she said she wanted to go to law school. Only spend the time and money if you know you want to be a lawyer. Don’t use law school as a placeholder or because you don’t know what else to do. It’s too hard and too expensive.

  2. Study…study….study for LSAT. There are sections especially logic games you can practice and really improve.

  3. Apply early and widely. The merit money and to some level the admissions which are much more rolling than undergraduate favor those that apply earlier.

If you or your daughter have any questions I’m happy to answer.

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I will definitely keep you posted! That’s really nice to hear, sometimes I worry about it, bc being a female alone, that can be risky, no matter what. But all in all, the experiences seem to be quite positive, even if they aren’t always easy. :slight_smile: I’d like her to apply to both Peace Corps and Fulbright, just to see what happens.


Thank you so much for that thoughtful reply! I sent it on to her. She, herself is not doubting law as a path…it is I who knows how much young people can change at this time of life but law does seems to suit her in many ways. I think she did initially think of it as an option stemming from a fear (what can I do with this English degree?) and liked the idea of law more than other options she could imagine. She was pleased and relieved, though, that she did find the legal process, the thinking, and the work of it really interesting (to the extent that she could see) during her summers at the courthouse, working with judges and law clerks and observing different types of cases and trials. Of course, that was small-town law, but she still got good exposure to aspects of the profession. One thing I know: she enjoys structure (far more than I do), has a good innate sense of human nature and she’s conscientious and exacting… those things have been true since childhood. Not particularly assertive, but I suppose that can be developed, and she has become much more socially confident since college. She received compliments about her work from the judges (they took her out to lunch on her last day) and the law clerk told her she was the best intern she has worked with! Small sample size, but it did encourage her to stick with this path.

GPA is solid (not perfect, but not far from it) and she started studying for the LSAT this summer, but probably not as regularly as she could and trying to carve out a regular study pattern….I’ve advised her that a consistent small amount each day or week is better than binging occasionally. This summer she took a couple of practice tests early on and got within the range that many law schools accept, but not to the level she wants. I remind her how much her SAT scores went up between 9th and 11th grade. What is weird is that her scores on all three sections were roughly the same even though, she did find logic games much harder than the others. It’s most surprising that there wasn’t a bigger discrepancy between the reading and logic games score because she had a very high SAT reading score with much lower math. We shall see what develops over time! Thank you again for your advice….maybe I’ll PM you about the process in a few months if she seems to need it!

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I hope you do let me know! With your D’s background it sounds as if a Fulbright is quite within reach as well…either would be an amazing experience. The Fullbright has its own awards (and obvious prestige). One great thing about Peace Corps (since you’re thinking about the safety issue) is the support and camaraderie of the whole Peace Corps community your daughter would be coming into…American and host country staff and fellow volunteers wherever she would serve. Most hosting countries have dozens or even hundreds of volunteers. Both of the places I served had more than two-hundred volunteers. The three-month training involves cross-cultural/safety awareness as well as language and technical stuff and trainee groups usually become extremely tight-knit. Even though many/most volunteers do not live in the same communities as other volunteers, PeaceCorps usually clusters volunteers together in regions so that it’s possible to regularly visit each other. Sometimes volunteers can express whether they would like to live in the same communities with other volunteers if that is an option. Often in traditional cultures, female volunteers spend the first weeks living with a family, and even when/if they move out to their own place, the community identifies the volunteer as the “adopted” daughter of that family, which gives a level of safety and acceptance by the community. For example, the village chief bestowed on me the last name of a neighbor/community leader and the same first name as the head of the women’s society of that village when I lived in West Africa. This sent a message to anyone (in the local area, at least) : don’t mess with her or you mess with the powers that be. Today, most/all volunteers have phones or are somehow connected by the internet on a regular basis, which was unheard of in my day. If I wanted to make a phone call I’d have to travel several hours, involving two or three busses to go to the central telephone office in the capital and wait (standing or sitting on the floor) for several more hours for my turn to make a call (which may or may not have resulted in a human answering on the other end…even message machines were not a thing then!) My parents received a letter from me every month or so and one or two phone calls per year. You can look forward to FaceTime and more!
Keep me in the loop!


This is fantastic info, thank you! I will DM you if I have questions as things get closer! :slight_smile:

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