November 29 Day 266: Excitement of New Possibilities

My youngest son spent the day putting the finishing touches on his college applications. My husband and I sat here as he hit submit— and celebrated each one. Even the computer threw confetti on screen. Personally, I think he has our credit card number memorized from typing it in ten times.

He has selected a good mix of small liberal arts colleges to large universities, local institutions to some as far as 3000 miles away. I feel badly that we did not get to take a summer college tour because of Covid-19. So there is no favored, early decision institution; it is hard to declaim where your heart beats stronger without actually visiting in-person. I promised when the time comes to make a final decision, we will visit those places that are still in contention (even if it is a stealth visit not sanctioned by the university or college just to see the campus and walk its corridors.)

The “deal” offered to last year’s HS seniors was pretty raw. No special end of year celebrations—no graduation, no prom, etc. —plus a first year college experience of remote or “on-campus but online” classes. This year’s seniors are much the same. It’s been a very different HS senior year than planned. I’m holding out hope for an actual graduation but then I am an eternal optimist. Recent news about COVID vaccines is promising and perhaps his first year in college will be closer to a typical experience.

Transitions and change can be scary and exciting. It can be an opportunity to reinvent yourself, to experiment, and to grow. I hope that AY 2021-22 can be more “normal” for my own students and for my family. Next year we are looking to be an “all-college” family with two professors and two students (one freshman and one senior.) It is impossible to predict the future, but thinking about the possibilities is exciting.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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