"Dad for Life"...that is what you are, when you're a father after all. You don't stop caring for and worrying about your kids--you just worry about and care for them in different ways than you did when they were little.
It's hard for me to believe, but my son is now 21-years-old, and a junior in college. My daughter is 17, and graduating from high school this year. She's now heading off to college in the fall, and her college search has finally come to an end. She'll be attending a mid-sized public university--the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. That's the subject of my first "Dad for Life" blog--choosing the right type of college for your kids.
My wife and I are the products of a large public university--the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That meant class lectures with hundreds of classmates as an undergrad, and a campus with classes so far apart 15 minutes passing time between classes was sometimes pushing it.
When you walked up Bascom Hill, you walked amid a sea of students. U.W.-Madison is so big, I spent an entire college career never crossing paths with some former classmates from high school who were also at Wisconsin. Course offerings were limitless. You could learn languages you didn't even know existed, languages you probably would never even have the chance to use after college.
Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing about my college years and my college choice. I think my wife would agree with that. I feel that I had a terrific education at Wisconsin, even if some of my professors in those early "mega-classes" wouldn't have been able to pick me out of a police line-up, if they had to...(and not that they would have had to, thank goodness).
After being accepted to U.W.-Madison, my son chose a different path--the much smaller Edgewood College, which he absolutely loves. His professors know him by name, and have offered him opportunities I probably wouldn't have had at the big "W" down the street--especially when I was in the "mega classes" freshman and sophomore year. He's also been able to play NCAA college soccer at Edgewood College, and really loves the experience of traveling with his teammates to colleges and universities around the Midwest.
Attending his away games at the other smaller universities, I can really see why they are a great match for a number of students. There's a real feeling of community, and of knowing ones classmates. I suppose it's like a small town that way.
Our daughter also was accepted at UW-Madison, but has decided to attend UW-Whitewater, partly because she felt its campus and class sizes wouldn't be as overwhelming.
So, what do you think? Is a smaller or bigger university more your style? Or, if you didn't attend college, did you go to a small or big high school? Did you enjoy your college or high school experience, or would you have done things differently? I'd love to hear from you if you're currently a student as well.