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May 30, 2009


Amigo will have two senior years. Yikes! Maybe I can spread out the costs...

My daughter applied to 13 (count 'em) colleges!
Then there was a parent/kid senior brunch. And all the senior teachers seem to have this thing about going out to breakfast with their classes.
I hear you; I'm broke!

Heh...my parents said:
1. You want a yearbook? Better save your money!
2. Class rings are a waste of money.
3. We'll pay for three (3) college applications. Want to apply more places? Fine, save up for it!
4. SAT prep? HAHAHAHAHA -- just study!
5. Prom sounds lovely. Hope you've saved enough to pay for it all...and be home by 1am. Forget getting a hotel room with your drunken friends. That's what college is for.
6. Class photos? Stand still -- let me get out the Polaroid.
7. What scholarships will you be getting?
8. You have college expenses that won't be covered by scholarships? Better get talking to the financial aid people!
9. If I'd asked them about an ad in the school paper, my father would have laughed until he choked, and my mother would have trotted out the old "there are only three appropriate times to be in the newspaper if you are not a public official or a performer -- when you are born, when you marry, and when you die." Well, first she would have said to the ad salesperson, in response to the "all the parents are doing it!" with "and if all the parents jumped off a a cliff, do you think I'd follow them?"

Bought myself a yearbook, skipped the class ring (I thought my parents were horrible and cruel at the time, now I'm grateful we didn't wast the money!), skipped the photo packages, had a blast at the prom with hair and make-up by yours truly wearing a dress I already owned (from a wedding), snickered at the kids with the big "Congratulations to our little Jodi for graduating!" ads, did very well on the PSAT and the SAT, got some scholarships, worked my ASS off to put myself through four years of college accepting less than $1,000 TOTAL from Mom and Dad.

Don't let anyone tell you all those expenses are necessary!

Oh, I know those expenses are mostly not necessary. I didn't have any of them at all but the yearbook when I graduated high school. But when you live in a town where all this excess is NORMAL and EXPECTED and the message is you're a terrible parent if you don't tow the line and spend spend spend, then it becomes a constant source of irritation for both parent and kid.

It's difficult enough just getting out of high school these days, with all the special requirements and constant reminders to return your latin book or you won't graduate (1st year latin and we had to tear the house apart to find it), but when all your friends are getting all the extras and you aren't, the guilt is out there. Even my son, who KNOWS that not only am I bullshit with him for screwing up his senior year with the worst case of senioritis ever recorded, wanted me to put an ad in the paper congratulating him. As if!

This is the first time I've been glad my Senior step-daughter doesn't bring home all the fliers (they get lost at mom's house), and that she's a bit anti-social about big events, and that she's an underachiever. We've paid for no yearbook, her brother took some amazing senior pictures (don't think she's even going to be IN the yearbook and she doesn't care -- only been at the school two years and only cares about ART), she thinks a class ring is stupid, and hates the music they play at dances so her boyfriend took her on a picnic to the park instead, and she's all, "What SAT's? I was supposed to take them? AND apply to a college? I just can't go?" Unfortunately, we have to match the $1,200 laptop we bought older brother as a grad present. And pay for the entire grad party because mom never has money. Unless it's for crafts and trips. Oh, did that sound snarky? Sorry!

That's even worse, all that pressure! Seems they've lost sight of the actual goal! Glad you haven't!

been there, lived it ... 4 times now.

but mostly with kids who just didn't care one way or the other.

roo-girl will be there in 3 years. she? will be the one who cares.

kill me now.

my older daughter just finished her freshman year at college, my younger one is a high school junior. I feel like I just finished dealing with senior year and I'm starting all over again.

the only good news -- Becca took the SAT in March, the ACT in April and took the SAT a second time in May, and has now moved on to SAT II's next week...so we're probably done with testing and won't be revisiting the issue in October.

Holy crap. It's waaaay more expensive where you are than where I am. My kids' school yearbooks cost $30 if you pre-ordered; $40 if you waited till May.

Prom? No idea. The oldest paid her own way (and wore a dress she already owned), and I'm not even sure my son went to his, though since he had a girlfriend, he probably did. No limos for either of them.

Here, it costs in the order of $100 to apply to three universities (through a central applications processing website). Don't know about extra applications: my eldst only applied to three, and my son to one. (He got in.)

No ads in the papers. (For heavens' sake.) No SATs here either, thank goodness.

But pictures? HUGE rip-off: you had to purchase them, SIGHT UNSEEN! In the same price range you cite! They want me to shovel over hundreds of dollars without even SEEING them first? Are they NUTS? We took our own, thanks.

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