I won;t go up on a soap box here because I haven't gained any huge following and one of my followers knows how I feel about the subject of paying for your kid's college tuition. But let me start at the beginning...
We've been a camping family for several years. I couldn't do the tent thing so we had a couple of pop ups and then a hybrid camper. They were all great campers and we got around in them- mostly the east coast. We took bicycles and kayaks with us, toting the dogs along as well.
Last year, with the changes in motorcycles that Blaise and I had, our vacationing habits changed a bit. The oldest child out of the house and youngest looking at colleges and working, camping had been put to the back burner a little and day trips or short weekends became the norm for vacationing. We realized the hybrid camper had to go- its configuration no longer what we wanted. So this spring after one last long trip (Disney's Ft. Wilderness) we put the camper up for sale. We were happy to sell it to a family with smaller kids who were thrilled when they saw the rig. Soon after, the tremendous F150 Supercrew was sold as well- no need for all that room or pulling power.
We adjusted and purchased a smaller truck for Blaise so he could still have the pick up truck utility. We then started to seriously look at motor homes. Smart at this point with gas close to $4 a gallon? No, but this is how we vacation- I don't fly and I don't enjoy idleness. I want to see the country and ride the roads- on my Boulevard.
Ok so the decision was made and we looked at a few rigs. We decided on a 2004 Winnebago 31 foot Class C. It had the floor plan we were looking for and the price was in our range. We will be picking it up tomorrow morning from the former owners. We also decided to get a utility trailer to put behind the motor home to house the bikes. So it begins....we are talking about trips west next year.
Now at the same time our youngest will start college in August- a private college no less. She earned a nice scholarship but there's still a large amount of tuition due. She knows that her education at this point is her responsibility so she's prepared, and a bit anxious, to take out loans. It's what Blaise and I did for our educations and it's what she will do and our oldest did.
So when I was discussing our new-to-us motor home with a friend his eyebrows shot up and the question about paying for a motor home and college came up. naturally I stated that we aren't paying for our daughter's college- she is. This got me a bit of a frown. Oh well....
If people feel they HAVE to pay for their children's college education then they should. Blaise and I feel that if our children have a real vested interest in their future they should realize they need to be responsible for it- financially as well as everything else that goes with it. Will we help? Absolutely we will- within our means. Will be shutter ourselves at home and not travel? absolutely not.
Call us selfish or what have you but this is the way it's happening. Our children need to understand that a higher education does not come free- so they need to work hard at school so they can pay the debt that comes with a college education. Both Blaise and I did this and I am still paying for my advanced degree. My parents never told me they would pay for college and they didn't. They helped where they felt they wanted to but otherwise my college education was my responsibility.
So when I load up that motor home and the bikes in the trailer I won't feel guilty. Our children see us working to live OUR lives the way we want to and they need to see that they will need to work to live THEIR lives they way they want to. This is their time to make decisions as to where they want to see themselves in the future.
Is is scary for our daughter? You bet but she is already seeing that she needs to be responsible for herself and her confidence level is soaring. She knows we'll be here or her no matter where we are physically! And she knows that if she has a vacation period at school she'll be on the back of Dad's bike tooling around the country with us as well.
Pictures to come and hopefully lots of stories from the road!!