I am in the throes of re-living my senior year in high school, via my 18 year old daughter. Senior year is such a pivotal year in life with so many things kind of wrapping up yet so many things just beginning. It's an amazing time filled with the entire range of experiences and emotions. I am very fortunate to be a part of it, again!
It's interesting to "go through it again", to witness so many of the emotions that I went through and to compare her relationships with the ones that I had. There are so many similarities. Yet one thing is vastly different ... technology.
Cowabunga, has technology changed the life of a high school teenager. Things move so fast -- getting opinions (and judgements) from your friends takes a mere seconds. Relationships come and go over the mobile phone and major decisions are formulated in text message. She and I even have major discussions in 50 characters or less.
I'd like to point out a few standouts.
The college application process. Yes, most of it has migrated online which has made it much much easier. The "common app" alone has saved hours of time. But remember the days standing by the mailbox waiting to get a "fat" envelope? A "fat" envelope meant you got in and a "skinny" one meant you had to wait to hear from another school. Not anymore. It's mostly online -- many schools tell you that they will post your status on your password protected section of their site at a specific time. You simply log in to see your fate at 5:00pm EST. Imagine the drama around that, everyone knows you'll be hearing from your favorite school and immediately starts texting to hear your news. Ouch. No time to even process it.
And then there's prom season. I had a wonderful time this past weekend going prom dress shopping with my daughter (yes, you read that right it was actually kind of fun). After 5 stores and about 25 dresses, we picked a killer -- in canary yellow no less. A wild one-of-a-kind dress so befitting of senior prom -- she is going to own it. But what if another girl walks in with the same dress? Even in a different color, it means disaster. No worries, the school has a facebook page where all the girls are posting their dresses so you can make sure that no two are alike. That was a wow for me. The owner of the shop even posted it for us!
Technology has truly changed our lives -- understatement of the century. But I have to say that it has also eased the transition for dear old dad too. I know that when she runs off to school (she's picked Penn State), that I'll be able to hear from her every single day. Even if it's just a :) on my iPhone.
What's your experience? Jim.