Sunday, March 15, 2009

Acceptances/Rejections: Colleges/Jobs

It's that time of year.  Thick or thin envelope?  But guess what?  No more thick and thin envelopes.  It's almost all on email now or on a website.  What's up with that?  I know what's up with that....but I used to enjoy holding the envelope up to the lightbulb trying to read through the exterior to see what that infamous letter said.  You can't believe it?  Believe it.  Guilty.  I know, pathetic right?  Well, I have this "thing" about allowing my kids' privacy so I don't open anything addressed to them (at least not intentionally).  So when it's college acceptance time, same rules apply.  But that doesn't mean a mother can't be curious.  So there'd I'd be trying to "see" anything I could through that envelope.  Talk about wishing I were Superman!  Well, it's all you're leaning over your child's shoulder (if they let you) as they type in their password and waiting, waiting....and then there it is....either...Congratulations!  Or "due to, we've had an unprecedented number of applicants... blah blah blah"....That's when your inner cheerleader comes out, you're either jumping up and down (literally or figuratively) or you've launched into a "boost them up dialogue", telling them there are other schools, great schools and it will all work out, or there's doing a gap year, or OK there probably is grabbing the box of kleenex, giving them that Mom hug, and being their biggest shoulder to cry on.  But once you've validated their feelings and maybe even yours, it's back to being Mom and shoring them up (is that correct English? hmmmm....).
On the summer job front, or the job after college front:  Same kind of deal, but now is different from last year at this time. As parents we're telling our kids they need a "plan", there's no "hanging out" for the summer.  The reality of the economy is setting in for everyone and it's becoming more and more clear for our kids on college campuses.  They may live in a "bubble", but conversations are shifting.  They've been talking to their friends or reading Yahoo news, or their college "Daily" and they're also experiencing first hand what's going on "out here."  We've been talking to them all along, (but as is the case in general, it sometimes takes these other sources until it "sinks in") we've told them they need to get a summer job, but as resumes have gone out or they've contacted last summer's employers, the responses have been mixed, but mostly "Sorry", they're not adding summer positions or taking any interns, or not paying summer interns or...  So now we're saying they've got to come up with a plan on how they're going to spend their 2 1/2 - 3 months.  We can talk about what that "plan" might look like, but back to the topic at hand, this "rejection" experience is not such a bad thing.  Our kids have been a part of "everyone's a winner", we've spent a lot of time and energy over the years cushioning their blows.  Maybe it's that inner cheerleader thing, or maybe it's just that we're their Moms, but the fact is, we need to continue to support them, emotionally support them.  These are tough times.  They need our support and our bolstering them up.  We'll offer them advice, continue to help them, if asked, but after all, they are becoming more and more independent.  And they need to be.  But if their asking?  :)

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