With Jake on his way to college in August I not only gain a column in my own BusyBodyBook, I also gain the six columns at the University of Missouri.
The Columns at the University of Missouri in Columbia
A ritual at Mizzou is that incoming freshman run through the columns and towards Jesse Hall (the building in the foreground), and seniors run through and away upon graduation. (Incidentally, it's the doors of Jesse Hall where parents pass through (and often pass out) to pay tuition and deplete their bank account - not a custom, so to speak, but a mandatory practice, nonetheless.)
So as Jake enters college through his columns, I am left with the column in my BBB that once coordinated his activities with mine. Seven weeks from now my status change to "empty nester" - free, independent - and an emotional wreck! For about a year now, in my mind's eye, I've been delivering Jake to school and preparing for his departure by finely honing the artful skill of denial. Balancing my pride and joy with his eventual leave-taking worked like a dream...
until last week at parent student orientation.
Orientation: a meeting or series of events at which introductory information or training is provided to somebody embarking on something new such as a course of study.
Aren't we too embarking on a new "course of study"?
Orientation: the process of becoming accustomed to a new situation or set of surroundings.
HELLOOOO!!!! Aren't we having to get used to a new "situation"?
To be fair (and somewhat tongue in cheek), the college scheduled several, informative events for parents only and consisting of: finances and tuition (a quick 'n easy how-to empty your bank account); support your students and stay connected (what else your student will need with what's left of your money, various tricks to get your kid to answer/respond/remember to call you with their cell phones); campus safety and security (the realities of campus life: alcohol, sex, and rock 'n roll but why you have nothing to fear). And so it went.
Personally, though very impressed with the advisors, events, and upper classmen I wished that the parent orientation concluded with a breakdown breakout session for the unintiated (that be me) led by members of their mental health support team.
Just one other comment. Perhaps the Parent Orientation Packet should also have included a few amenities: a three ingredient cookbook entitled "How to Survive on P,B & J for the Next Four Years", the now popular bumper sticker, "I left my kid and money at the University of Missouri", and a box of tissues (with the Mizzou logo watermark).
For the record, I haven't figured out yet how to use my leftover column in my BBB other than for noting Jake's flights back home and counting down the days til he runs through the six columns heading home.