September 2017

For the four very busy people raising teenagers in Piedmont who didn’t see Frank Bruni’s Op Ed The Real Campus Scourge this Sunday, stop reading this immediately and correct your oversight. For the rest of us, there’s nothing to say beyond that quintessential teenage commentary: I know, right?

The only adage Piedmont parents of kids a certain age hear as often as “we’re all here for the schools” is “Piedmont kids have a tough time going off to college.” Back when I was still a Havens/preschool mom, a friend with a beautiful, athletic, popular daughter in her first semester at a giant out-of-state football powerhouse shared her cautionary tale. Her daughter was feeling unhappy enough to go see a counselor. Before she could even get through her tears to the second sentence of her speech – that maybe she was in the wrong place, maybe college wasn’t even for her, maybe – the counselor put up a hand to stop her. “Let me guess,” he interrupted, “you grew up in a really small town, you had a serious boyfriend, and you were in the ‘in’ crowd for all of high school, right?” After listening sympathetically for the rest of the appointment, he sent her on her way with an admonishment to get involved in activities, put herself out there, and leave her phone in a drawer for the bulk of the day.