Thirty years ago, my parents took me to college orientation. They dropped me off at the University of North Texas gym, handed me a $20 bill for lunch and dinner and told me they would be back to pick me up at 9:00 pm when it was over. My eyes were the size of saucers. I was scared to death.
It was a one-day affair that resembled a day at Six Flags without the Pink Things.
It was full of roller coaster emotions, sweating like a pig and standing in lines, lots and lots of lines. We took a picture for our college ID, learned the school song, and were hurried into the dressing room to hear from our degree choice. Then we walked in a slow line over to the Union for lunch, hand-wrote my schedule on a piece of colored paper, and handed it to a lady that had worked at the college for 102 years. They divided us up to play in a co-ed kickball game and ended the day with a cold hot dog for dinner. Momma arrived back at the gym at 8:58 pm, high fived me and we returned home.
This is NOT, let me repeat, NOT how they do New Student Orientation now.
Wow, my man and I took our oldest down to Texas A&M this week. It was a three-day affair. Traditions, ways to send money, calendars, ways to put money on an account, academic support, staying safe, sports passes, yell practice, maroon shirts to buy, and registration for classes.
I started realizing as we sat and listened for three days that my children have lead very sheltered lives.
They have never seen a whole chicken, created a casserole from scratch, or watched bread rise.
I haven’t shared the ecstasy of pulling towels out of the drier and burying your face into them, the satisfaction of cleaning the lint filter or how to vacuum to get perfect lines in the carpet.
But here are a few insights we have given her:
- Underwear should be kept private, changed and not shared.
- Students that talk to their parents weekly, get remembered in their will.
- Deposits should always, at all times, exceed the withdrawals.
- Pursue every roach as if it was female, pregnant and ready to make its permanent home in your pantry.
- You will not always get what you want and sometimes your basic needs can be met on $2.38.
- Maroon shirts need to be kept away from your whites.
- Introduce yourself to teachers and professors. It goes a long way.
- Faith, love, and family are really all you need.
- Don’t be scared to ask for help.
- And if your bed is uncomfortable, you can always sleep between me and your daddy!
As we were walking away, I could hear the Sound of Music playing in my head, “Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow till you find your dream.”
Julie Andrews should have also sung about loans, financial aid, and scholarships.
Tired but amazed!