All names and some identifying details of college counseling students are changed
Eric was a student at Daniel Hand High School in Madison. I had worked with him on SAT prep and knew him quite well. When we started college counseling, he expressed his interest in applying to schools in the Pacific Northwest. As noted in my prior article, I gave him my speech on the importance of staying close to family but noted that I always honor the desires of the applicant. In Eric’s case, his mom was from Oregon and his grandparents, along with many other family members from her side. He typically spent a couple weeks each summer in Bend, Oregon and loved it. The location “fit him”. It’s not that Eric didn’t like Madison but just that he felt his energy was more connected to the outdoorsy and more laid-back nature of his extended family. Given the family context, his mom was actually happy that he was looking at Oregon. His father – who was from Madison – also loved Oregon so he was fine with the desire as well.
Eric wrote me a note a few years back. Hard to believe he’s 32 now. He attended the University of Oregon. He got a job working for Nike in Portland out of college and has been there ever since. He met and married a woman who he met at work. His e-mail note was relaying that he had a child and he kiddingly asked if I could start providing college counseling. He also said: “I remember when you told me that if I went to Oregon that I would likely make my friends there, perhaps get into a serious relationship with someone, and have more job opportunities. It turns out you were right on all three counts. And, I’m glad you were right because it turned out wonderfully well.”