By Helena Rodriguez: Freedom Newspapers
No one has come right out and said it, but I know my daughter is a commodity right now. An economic good. A product. Something of value. Maybe even a commission to someone.
My daughter Laura is a high school senior this year and Uncle Sam is just one of the many people standing in line trying to recruit her. Add to that many colleges and universities, and I’m expecting the credit card companies to start bidding for their piece of the pie, too.
Laura went to a college fair last week at Eastern New Mexico University, where representatives from ENMU and regional colleges were present. Of course Laura already knows where she wants to go. She wants to go to “the party school,” I mean, she wants to become an Aggie and go to New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
Every time we mention NMSU, people say, “the party school,” and I’m like, “No, it used to be. It’s the school where our governor, Bill Richardson, took a stand and said ‘No’ to alcohol sales at NMSU sporting events. It’s the university in that town with the three crosses on the mountain,” I say, hoping they are listening.
Of course, I tell Laura to have a backup plan, too. Economics could keep her here at home at ENMU, or by some good fortune, she could get offered a nice scholarship at another institution, which was not her first or second choice. If I had my choice, she would attend Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.
I’ve warned Laura to be careful which schools she expresses interest in. She’s already getting mail, telephone calls and even text messages from colleges and universities from the east to the west coasts. In person and through the mail, they give her little freebies, like pens, notepads and caps.
The game works both ways, though. As Laura begins to apply for college admissions and for scholarships, she’s going to have to sell herself to them, too, touting her best qualities and accomplishments. Telling people why she is a good investment. Why they should give her their money. And that’s when Laura calls in mommy — when she needs help and tips in writing these scholarship essays.
She tells me how independent she is going to be in college, how she’ll be able to vote in the next presidential election and be completely on her own, without mommy, for the first time in her life. But first she has to complete these applications, and the first thing she shouts is “Mom!”
Helena Rodriguez is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. She can be reached at: