Many of us have spent lots of time on college tours recently. I'm not going to get into the insanity of the entire college selection process; I'll let you experience and enjoy that on your own.
However, as you embark on this fun experience, whether for the first time, or sixth (God bless you;) you should check out a fabulous new resource created by a friend and fellow entrepreneur, Moira McCullough.
Her newly launched website, College Scoops provides college-bound students and their parents with the resources needed to save time, money and stress when planning college visit trips. The site will help you find places to stay, tell you where to eat, and gives you all the inside "scoop" you need for a successful trip. Trust me, you owe it to yourself to visit her site before you hit the road.
Another favorite source for advice navigating the college process, along with all the other fun that comes with parenting high school and college aged kids (and beyond) is Grown and Flown. I highly recommend following their Facebook page and/or getting the newsletter. They provide so much helpful material and support for this unique season of parenting (not to mention much-needed humor;)
Now, before I talk about what to wear on college visits, I just need to get one thing off my chest in case any admissions people or tour guides happen to be reading this....
Can we all agree to replace the word "free" with the phrase "included with your tuition" ?? If one more perky tour guide exclaims with pride that things like printing, laundry and shuttle rides are FREE, I think my head may explode.
Ok, now that we've covered that, on to the truly important topic here:
What to Wear to On College Tours with Your (easily embarrassed) 16-18 Year Old Young Adult
- DO wear comfortable shoes. Hands down, the most important tip. My go-to is my Classic Adidas or my slip-on Vans. Low heel, comfortable and waterproof booties or your favorite loafers are good choices as well. This snake print pair is a new favorite of mine and so comfortable for walking. Needless to say....this is not a time to break out the heels.
- DO plan on weather changes. Especially if you're traveling, wear layers, bring an umbrella, and have a neutral jacket on hand.
I love my black ponte blazer because it's so very comfortable, easy to pack, and polished looking without being stuffy.
An olive field jacket is another versatile winner because it's on trend without being trendy...and you'll blend in with the scenery which is your goal. 😉
Another go-to is my all-time favorite denim jacket - it's just cool enough without screaming "I'm 50 years old and want to look like a teenager."
- On that note: DON'T dress for fashion. Yes, you can be fashionable, but trust me, your kid doesn't want you to draw undo attention to yourself. Despite the fact that you raised and nurtured this child for 18 years (and are footing the bill) it's not about you. 😉
- DON'T expect your almost adult child to carry their own sh*t. Seriously though, carry a light-weight tote to hold your sunglasses, umbrella, an extra layer -- AND all the glossy hand out materials (that must cost these schools a fortune, and no one ever looks at again because it's all available on-line).
- DO bring a scarf to add some personality to your neutral look. Scarves serve multiple purposes including adding some warmth, keeping your head dry in unexpected downpours, and covering the stain created when you dump your coffee on yourself while driving to said tour.
A long necklace you can easily throw on also adds personality to a basic tee (and a tassel or pendant gives you something to fiddle with to remind yourself to keep your mouth shut).
I love this one and also have this one (and it's reversible, so 2 looks in 1).
- DO enjoy this special time with your "child" as they are held captive with no easy escape plan. It can be a stressful time filled with conflict and tough decisions, but it can and should also be a wonderful chance for some rare one-on-one time.
- FINAL TIP: Stuff a "free" cookie in your mouth when you feel tempted to express a preference for a particular school.
Learn this phrase and repeat it over and over when you're tempted to give your opinion: "What did YOU think??"
At first, you'll be met with a blank stare or something meaningless like, "it was nice". But eventually (we pray) they will figure it out and end up somewhere right for them.
And then (we pray) they'll get a job, and not live in the basement. For too long.
Have fun and #justgetdressed😉