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Those cherry blossoms are surreal and so beautiful. And omg the bed parties?! What the actual madness. 🤯

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Jan 17·edited Jan 17Author

I know I know. I totally missed this as a thing during Covid. But now it's such a display of excessive consumerism 🙄. What I didn't mention is that there's this whole process that involves friends since it's meant to be a "surprise" for the recipient.

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That is where its at. Real life. We can be who we are ❤️

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Jenna - really enjoyed this article and your description of the winter blossoms. As far as college swag goes, we did the same as you, bought our son a hoody when we took him to school. Planning to do the same with our daughter in a couple years, if she goes to college.

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Matthew, thank you — and those college hoodies don't come cheap either! I was a little floored by the price of college swag, on top of the tuition 😵‍💫

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Beautiful moments ❤️

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Jan 17Liked by Jenna Park

I can feel you standing with the snow and the blooming trees, and it’s exactly the exhale I needed this morning when reading. The stillness of the frozen cherry blossoms makes those bed images even more shocking!

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I took a million pictures, although maybe not successfully because the snow actually turned to freezing rain when I was out there.

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Jan 17Liked by Jenna Park

Interested in all you’ve gleaned during the college process!

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I probably will need to vent and rant some more so stay tuned 😂

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Jan 17Liked by Jenna Park

Ugh, that bed party thing is totally new to me. No, it's not just you. It is an assault on the eyes. It's gross to me... I don't mind celebrating, but this is just an odd way to do it. I get that during the Covid years ppl might feel like it was the one way to create some joy and brightness. But, at least in the images you provide, it's too much. I never even wore a college sweatshirt/shirt... I hate advertising like that.

Your description of the snowfall brought me back 23 years ago when I lived in NY. I remember the snow clinging to some magnolia flowers in late February. I don't know why that image has stayed with me for so long, but it was just so beautiful. From time to time I really miss my two years there.

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Oh, I don't think I knew you lived here at one point. NY has a way of lingering with you - for good or bad!

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I am with you on the bed parties. WTF? Consumerism run amok.

I share your sentiments regarding the flux of college kid life. We just dropped Alexander off again last night and the home vibe is so different today. But he was thrilled to go back and face the challenges of another semester, so I revel in that a bit.

Once this insane cold weather snap breaks, let's catch up in NYC!

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Yes please, anytime. And can you believe freshman year for him is already over?

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Nyc is beautiful in the winter ❤️

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It can be, yes! Until the snow turns to black slush!

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Mindful time with cats are tge best. I write about mindfulness and well being 👉 https://open.substack.com/pub/makepurethyheart/p/you-dont-need-to-do-anything-to-be?r=1zorpg&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post

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Thank you for sharing Paola. I needed to read some of those words today.

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After the pink cherry blossoms fall atop white one inch of snow, see the lone evergreen pear survivor, saved after twin towers torched toppled surrounded by barren oak trees. The white blossoms in early spring respond with their own song that residents can still hear as snow ashes drift down Manhattan lanes. Just as college campuses fill and flee with graduates life continues to come and go. We the observers know to be in the now snow that glistens--a glorious moment to breathe deep and then later we can sleep.

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This is beautiful. You are a writer! Thank you for taking the time to write such a poetic comment, Richard.

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Years ago visiting the 9/11 memorial find no one knew name of flowering pear that was survivor after being burned. Yet set aside to heal. One tree that flowers among many still dormant with winter’s clutches. A reminder of tenacity of a tree like humans to respond to kindness.

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Oh yes, the story of the survivor tree 🌳🫶

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Yes. An extension of humanity. Resilience.

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Jan 18Liked by Jenna Park

I still have the hoodie sweatshirt from when I got accepted to college. I’m so glad I only had one thing to keep and treasure.

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I just realized I have no school swag from any of the 3 schools I went to and now I want some 😬

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Jan 20Liked by Jenna Park

I'm over 40 and I buy a tshirt from my university every year or so lol. My parents now live in the same town, so when I visit I go to the campus bookstore. Sometimes I feel like that John Mulaney standup bit about donating to your school. But I love tshirts, what can I say?

I will also admit to buying all manner of swag from my high school the 3 years a friend had a kid in sports there. That was the best - we had a really cute mascot :)

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I think it's great. Maybe I should start buying swag from my kid's colleges. ☺️

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Hiiiiii feel free to dump all the college app info on me!!! 🙃 I know that we’ve talked/ranted about it before but I’m still in denial that we have to go through all this soon!

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I mean I don't know what or how I'll write about it or if it will be behind a paywall to protect our particular situation but you know you have an all access line to this now useless to me knowledge right next door 😀

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Beautiful writing, Jenna!

"I decide this year to reject any notion of a fresh start." I love this. We somehow think we have to start something new when new year comes around, but we don't have to. And, we can start something new anytime of the year!

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Aw thank you Yuezhong. Means a lot as I consider you very well-read. And speaking of, I noticed a newsletter from you in my in-box. Off to read!

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My 3 year old is leaning his body against my arm as I read the part about 93% of parenting time being done by high school graduation. I will let him stay snuggled up close as long as he wants!

And the bed party thing is excessive and dumb. No thanks.

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Snuggle close. Reading and seeing that really wrecked me.

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arrrrgh the bed parties definitely hurt my eyes. this is why I'm not on facebook anymore, I can't stand the performative pics and the plea for attention. it feels really sad and gross. your photos of nyc are so pretty, i much prefer looking at those!

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It really does seem like it's made for social media. I have a real aversion to clutter so my reaction was really strong lol.

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Jan 18Liked by Jenna Park

i read that article about time in 2020, and I was like "this is my year!!" It wasn't lol. I know I would love to hear any info from you about college, I'm about to get into that myself next year with my oldest. Also, I'm just a fan, thank you for all you write, and have written!

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"a fan" sounds so strange. I've "known" you online for so long! We can be online friends :)

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haha! fair enough!

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Jan 18Liked by Jenna Park

I'm so glad you had a peaceful wintery landscape to enjoy during this crazy season. I was worried a bit about being an empty nester as there is so much negativity around it. I'm not finding this to be the case, thankfully. I really find this time quite rejuvenating and envigorating. What is seriously no joke, is the entire college application process. Easily some of the worst months of child rearing, for me anyway. So much of it is entirely random especially with the top 40 schools. Like you I have researched and studied the process and I have way too much to say about it. The Bed Party celebration is new to me and sounds appalling. I feel it makes kids who aren't accepted into their "dream" school feel so dejected through no fault of their own. I wish I could give every high school senior and huge hug, a congrats for getting through it and reassurance that it will be okay.

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I think the bed parties are getting backlash because of the very thing you write about - it does lack sensitivity, but is it unavoidable? Seems like most schools have senior instagram accounts where you post where you're going to school (a ton less obnoxious though!). I keep wondering if the process for top 40 is random. Sometimes I think it is and sometimes I don't. It may just seem random to us because we're not aware of a school's institutional priorities that year. How decisions are made is anyone's guess when admissions is holistic, but I do think the colleges are looking for something - we just may not know what it is 😵‍💫

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