Decision Time by Sharon O’Donnell

The time for my oldest son to make a decision about where he will go to grad school is here.  He was very blessed to get into almost all the schools to which he applied; he was accepted at NC State, Wake Forest, University of Virginia, and Boston College.  The only one that didn’t accept him was  Vanderbilt in Nashville, and they got back to him within two days of his application submission, which was weird. Evidently, their class for next year is already full or something.  That was not his first choice anyway, but it was rather unsettling to hear back from the a school so quickly and be rejected. It made him worry about his chances at the other schools.

He needn’t have worried. He interviewed at NC State and Wake Forest and received an acceptance and offers of some scholarship money from each of them. Although he loved going to undergrad accounting school at NC State, he really felt he needed to go somewhere different for graduate school. He loved Wake Forest University, the people there, and the beautiful new graduate school building that was recently completed.  Then a few days later, he heard from Virginia.  It was a ‘yes’ from them, too, and the idea of living in Charlottesville was definitely appealing. But I knew my son loved the city of Boston and had always wanted to live in Boston for a while anyway (I hope short-term!).  It is not only the appeal of the Red Sox in Fenway Park but also the  vibrant city itself, chock full of tons of college students.  And he loves cold weather.  Of course, North Carolina cold weather is not Boston cold weather, so I’m not sure how he would adjust to that. We’d certainly have to buy some heavier outdoor wear. 

Later that day, Boston College got back with him, and it was another ‘yes’.  He was very excited, but the excitement was dampened by the fact that he knew Wake Forest and UVA actually had higher ranking accounting grad schools than Boston College.  Still, BC was had been his first choice.  BC also offered some scholarship money, whereas UVA waits to do that in April — making it difficult to decide without being able to consider that factor.  So next weekend, we will be driving up to Charlottesville to look at all the facilities and the program there. I haven’t been there since my parents took me to Monticello when I was a child, so I’m looking forward to going.  Then the following weekend, we will fly to Boston. Although I’m eager for spring, I hope it is still cold there — very cold — so that my son can see and FEEL what real Boston cold weather is like before making his decision. 

The front runner for my husband and me is UVA.  It’s a fantastic school with a terrific national recognition, and is also a top MBA school if our son wants to do that after his year of grad school getting his Masters in accounting.  And the drive is close enough for weekend trips.  In by book as a mom, this is an extremely important factor.  But it will be, in the end, our son’s decision.  He has put in the hard work, and he is the one who will  continue to put in the hard work — so  he needs to choose the place he wants to be, where he feels most comfortable; yet, he needs to also look at the big picture and see which choice might be best for him in his future job hunt.  A fun few weeks ahead — but stressful.  Above all though, I’m so proud of my son. Way to go, Bill!

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