By Laura Bradford
During the latter part of last school year, my eldest daughter and I began looking at colleges. Two of the ones we saw were high on her written list--both falling off that list after our campus visit. The third visit really just happened because I was speaking at a book event in the same town as College X and they were having an open house on the same day. Surprisingly, she liked several things about the school and deemed it a "good standby."
Fast forward to this past week when we set off in the opposite direction of the first three schools to see two more. One, again, took itself off the list. The other--we'll call College Yes--jettisoned itself to the top.
From the time we drove up, you could tell this place was perfect for her--small size, well-kept buildings, cozy feel, great great program in the major she wants to pursue, and warm people. The general information session/student-led tour gave us a personal view of the campus, while the tour my daughter set up with her department-of-choice's director gave us an amazing behind the scenes look at her major and the opportunities available to her.
Watching her throughout the day, I knew we'd found her place--the place she'd been worrying she wouldn't find after so many schools hadn't lived up to their spots on her list. And just as happened with my stepson during his college visits last year--there was even a "sign" that pointed to this school.
A sign, you ask?
Last year, after visiting the campus my stepson ultimately chose, he woke up in the hotel room talking about a dream he'd had...a dream where he was wearing green and yellow sneakers (the school's colors).
This year, during my daughter's visit, the tour took us through one of the academic buildings that housed a tall glass case with a stuffed polar bear. My daughter's first and only teddy bear--the one that still sleeps in her bed at 17 years of age--is a polar bear. She's had her since she was 6 weeks old.
We both took one look at the polar bear (as the student tour guide is saying, "none of us know why this bear is here...he just is.") and my daughter's face breaks into a wider smile than she's already had throughout the day and says..."Mom, it's a sign. Like Shane's sneakers."
Tell me, do you believe in signs?