HOLY CARP – This college thing just got REALLY real

If you’ve seen my sporadic ‘holy carp’ tweets over the past few months, you may already know that my family and I are in the midst of a sea change. My oldest son, who I swear was learning to ride a bike just a couple of years ago, is a high school senior, and since this past August we’ve been in college-decision mode. He’s a STEM kid through and through, and his grades are off the charts*, so at least we had a starting point – top science universities were well within his grasp.

*Every parent wants their child to do better than they did. However, this kid… Listen, I did really well in school. Graduated near the top of my class, kicked butt on the SATs, ended up with a full scholarship. My son? Blew me away. It wasn’t even close. He has humbled me…

We visited eight schools in the Northeast Corridor/upstate NY (not that he wants to stay near home; on the contrary, he’s looking forward to getting out on his own…he just feels he’s an ‘east coast’ kind of person). He ended up applying to six schools, none of which had any rolling admissions – meaning we’ve been in limbo since December, not having any acceptances, while many of his classmates already had a few schools “in their pockets”. Some were even planning roommate requests as they had been accepted, accepted offers, and signed the dotted line. So yeah, anxiety ensued. The danger was, he was shooting high on these schools. He didn’t go the safe-school route, which I sort of understand (go big or go home…or in his case, stay home), but until we received that one ‘yes’, things were a little on-edge.

Until last night.

Happy Pi Day indeed. At 7PM, my son goes upstairs and logs into his admissions account at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Top 50 university in Troy NY that focuses squarely on STEM. This school fell right within his wheelhouse: small in size, nice campus, strong science curriculum, not in the big city, and still within his geographic preference. I hear a barking laugh, followed by marching band music. RPI’s site announced he had been accepted and played the school song through the computer’s speakers.

After seventeen years, the day had arrived. My son had been accepted to college.

Will he attend RPI? No idea. We’re still waiting on the other five results, expected to be out over the next three weeks. Could they all say yes and he has a difficult decision? Sure. Could they all say no and he attends RPI? Sure. Either way, or somewhere in between, it’s now officially real. And no matter where he goes, it will be perfect for him.

Couldn’t be more proud.



  1. Mike - March 15, 2015 1:46 pm

    WOW! Congrats, guys! You have every reason to be proud, Dad.


    • Steve Umstead - March 15, 2015 3:28 pm

      Thanks Mike, appreciate it – crazy time…


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