Beach Week for High School Underclassmen?

It is a rite of passage for many graduating high school seniors — beach week.  I don’t know how far back the tradition goes, but I went way back in 19__, well before the invention of cell phones and back when the legal drinking age for beer was 18.  The place to go for my high school class was Virginia Beach, and, to be quite honest, I still can’t believe my strict parents let me go, but off we went… (And that is all I’m going to say about that week!)

Flash forward MANY years later and high school seniors go to Mexico, the Bahamas, and every kind of exotic destination you can imagine.  Parents shell out tons of money (ours didn’t) and even chaperone the trips (ours didn’t).  But what’s a parent to do when their underclass student, let’s say a rising junior, wants to go?  Should they?  What if they are an honor student who is even willing to pay for the trip?  Have they earned the right?  Is it a trip that should be reserved for graduation high school seniors?  In my mind, it is, but what do you think?

While you are pondering that, I will tell you one story… I have a friend with 3 children, 2 girls and a boy.  The boy is the youngest.  She let him go to beach week after his junior year and regrets it to this day.  She said his senior year was tough because once the toothpaste is out of the tube, you can’t put it back in (my words).  Bottom line:  He was a much tougher guy to rein in after attending beach week and his senior year was tougher on mom than it should have been.  The good news?  He is now 26 and a physics doctoral student.  Mom aged quite a bit his senior year in high school, but it may turn out okay after all 🙂

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