Countdown to our next College Road Trip

Kristen Marks

by Kristen Marks

Kristen Marks is an ultrarunner, newbie yogi, attorney, author, speaker, proud wife and mom to two college kids, and the founder of My Pink Lawyer®, Florida Estate & Legacy Planning attorneys. She has been crafting professional estate plans for Florida women and families for over 25 years, making things simple for their loved ones when they're gone and preparing their loved ones for the future.

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In our home, we are Crimson Tide fans through and through. It has nothing to do with how great they’ve been in football the last few years — although we love that, too. Actually, it has to do with the fact that my husband and I met at the University of Alabama School of Law.

Our family attended the FCS National Championship in Tampa this year. Yes, we lost, and that still hurts, but it was a great game and fun road trip, so I can’t complain too much.

This month during spring break, my son, Drew, and I are taking our first college road trip together so he can check out the University of Kentucky and the University of Georgia. I’m convinced extended road trips are a great experience for parents to have with their kids.

Drew is only a sophomore in high school, but I’m a planner, so we’re starting the college tour early. He and I haven’t done a trip like this by ourselves, so I’m excited to spend LOTS of quality time together — it’s a 10-hour road trip to Lexington. As parents, you have a captive audience in a car because teens can’t just hide out in their rooms!

I had similar trips with my daughter, Jill, two years ago. We still laugh about them! By the time we got back, we were finishing each other’s sentences. My husband said it was scary! Jill will attend the University of Alabama this fall.

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Drew knows plenty about the University of Alabama already, having grown up in an Alabama household. But he wants to forge his own path and look into Kentucky or Georgia, and I’m totally fine with that. College is an experience every young person should have as their own, and no one else’s.

My son’s current litmus test for college is one with places nearby for hunting and fishing, good scholarships, and a good business program, and apparently Alabama, Kentucky, and Georgia all fit the bill. Drew was considering Clemson at one time but after this year’s National Championship game, Clemson is now off the table!

No matter where they attend, I believe college will be one of the best learning experiences of my kids’ lives, inside and outside of the classroom. Away at college, you get out of your comfort zone, learn how to live in the real world (albeit in a college bubble), forge lifelong friendships, and grow into the person you’ll become for the rest of your life.

Wish Drew and I luck on our road trip in a couple of weeks. We may need it!

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