Saying goodbye to schools is harder than we thought

Thanks everyone for your support!

Some schools have meet & greets over the summer and this helps to make a few social connections with new and returning students - especially in regions where there are enough kids.

Do manage your expectations and your kids expectations. One of the things we were NOT prepared for was that first weekend after drop off. Kiddo let us know that many parents from the MA/CT/NY areas came back up after drop off to help with MORE room set up and bring MORE stuff. We live 2000 miles away - so we just went home after drop off. We saw on the school calendar that it was a “closed weekend”, so we figured that we were not allowed and that kids had to stay on campus. Nobody told us that some parents stick around, go shopping with their kids, or get to return back after a few days. Now, I know better and we take some vacation time to hang out - at least I do!

FWIW, I think it was hard coming from out of the NE “bubble” to school in the NE. It seems to be difficult in different ways for boys and girls. However, there are boys that have been to JBS together and/or know each other from club teams in NY/CT/MA/RI.

  • Those of us who are “veterans” of rocky BS “launch” are here to support you and tell you all the stuff we wish we had known! I still remember the calm words of @MAandMEmom on the other end of the phone “Do you need me to talk you off the ledge?”

@Golfgr8 I’m so sorry you had such a rough start. You are setting such a great example for your girl by being the change you seek. Good for you! Your school is lucky to have you.

You are far from the only family who has felt this way and I think it is important for families to know that BS can be a tough slog. I love your advice of picking the school where you are most likely to thrive even in the worst of circumstances.

I would add that some kids do better in sink-or-swim situations than others. And, as you pointed out, some of the support systems and traditions designed to scaffold during the transition to BS are impressive on paper but don’t always work as advertised.

However, I don’t think one can generalize across all schools. Some schools work harder than others to level the playing field and be more inclusive. Some have more mechanisms to knit a community together so that if a couple of them fail, there are still several others to help students feel connected. Some schools attract more competitive status-and-prestige-seekers than other schools, and it really affects the culture.

I think the moral of the story is to dig deeper, beyond the view books, websites, and even parent and student posts here. You’re likely to get a less varnished view in DMs than in public posts. And know that the teenage years are tough regardless and that ultimately you are choosing the people who will help your child navigate difficult challenges. Finally, if things are far from perfect, be the change you seek or make a move to a school that is an even better match since you will have a much more concrete sense of what your kid needs from a BS community to thrive.

Fingers crossed that kids can be on campus by fall!

Just to add for those this may apply to…many of the wise mentors before my “class” always said do the broken leg test…and in a way, it applies to non-athletes, too.
If your athlete breaks their leg and has to end their sports involvement, can they still see themselves thriving and happy at that institution?

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), this actually happened to us to some extent. Luckily, despite being sidelined, DS remains very happy.

@Golfgr8 and @parentofnicekid and @CaliMex and @Calliemomofgirls and at everyone who has provided insight, stories, guidance, support, and friendship along this journey, many thanks, again. Today, we committed to Chatham Hall! It’s not perfect, but it is wonderful, and most importantly, it’s the best choice for our daughter that can be made in this moment, based mostly on the people and the community. We trust the people we are sending her to, the rest will fall in place. We are thrilled, excited, nervous, and a little scared, but mostly looking forward to the opportunity with hope and optimism. If it isn’t right, we will adjust, but for now, we celebrate!

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Thanks and CONGRATS @southernfemmom !!

Chatham Hall is a great school!!! Plus, thinking you won’t be too far from your kiddo. Start shopping for the dorm room!

Hooray, @southernfemmom ! I know you struggled with the decision. Great to have it behind you. Onward!

And @Golfgr8 , thanks for your honesty. I have heard several riffs on this over the years. Your version requires no reading between the lines. You are a good soul!

While we were genuinely warmly welcomed, I am here on CC (and available to families at George) to share with them what I learned, usually after I needed it. I was a living breathing embodiment of the proverbial “I didn’t get the memo!” I was never sure when to reach out (didn’t want to be “that parent”) or to whom, wasn’t sure what the expectations were, had a kid who shared very little, etc… For me, it wasn’t a matter of being shunned or treated badly, it was just not knowing! (And for us, closed weekends were really closed. @Golfgr8 , you’d have gotten that one right!)

One of the things I always tell parents is that yes, your kid should be happy about the school they pick AND as a parent, you should be very comfortable with the school culture. Inevitably, something is going to go off the rails, and if you have to work through it with folks at school, it’ll be a million times easier if you trust the people you have to work with and have confidence in their values. If you know that legacies aren’t treated differently than others, for example. Or whether the prevailing philosophy is to let kids screw up and learn from their mistakes or to keep them from making mistakes in the first place. Whether to flip out over a B+ average.

It’s a new experience for many of us, if not at BS then at this school. Folks are here to help!

@gardenstategal you make very valid points…those I hadn’t even thought of. Having no clue going in…and also not wanting to be that parent was my experience. And you want schools that recognize this and help the parents grow as much as the kids, in many ways.

@southernfemmom Congrats! DD looked at Chatham Hall on our tour of schools last summer. You’ve just entered what seems to be a very welcoming, caring and supportive community. I’m sure your DD will thrive!

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Thank you so much @buuzn03 ! We definitely chose it in large part because of the warm, supportive community. We are getting more excited by the minute! I am so grateful for all the support we have received on this board.

@southernfemmom CONGRATULATIONS!!! I know I mentioned it to you before that I visited CH myself about a hundred years ago and I LOVED it. LOVED it. I almost went. (I ended up going to Masters for a year - back then it was all girls – but left after one year because my mom ran out of money, and I was a performer and I booked a part in the “pre-broadway” cast of a show at the Kennedy Center in DC, which then closed after one week and horrible reviews, so basically was a total gamble-gone-bad. But I digress.) Chatham Hall is fantastic!

And @Golfgr8 – thank you for always being transparent and helpful.

Gosh I adore people here.

Thank you @gardenstategal and @Calliemomofgirls ! We are excited and I SO appreciate all the insight and help you have provided to me over the past few weeks! I hope to have a chance to pay it forward. At the moment, I’m having fun planning a little acceptance celebration with cake and balloons and purple irises and LOTS of new school swag. I think we all could use a little celebration in these difficult times.

Can’t wait to hear where everyone else in the class of 2024 commits!

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Well said! ?

I am reminded today of this post from last year. I cried again at having to say goodbye to some of the schools my DD3 had to say goodbye to today.
We are so excited for her future! but gosh there were some great schools that really touched our hearts.
Saying goodbye is hard!


@Calliemomofgirls there is one school that I still feel sad about and every time I see their IG posts, get a little sentimental…

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