• Home
  • Just Life
  • Product Reviews
  • Entertainment Reviews
  • Contact

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gearing up for College - and Graduating to a Quieter House

I've written about my eldest daughter's decision to take a Gap Year, and it's been a great year for her, filled with real world experiences.  During the past ten months she's traveled to Europe, interned at a high tech company where she learned to speak techno-jargon, do copy edit, and create marketing materials.  She also found a second job where she's bartering some of her artistic skills in exchange for audio books - art and books, two of her favorite things.

But now we are in the midst of getting her prepared for college.  She's been accepted to the highly ranked San Jose State University School of Art & Design.  Her goal is to major in Illustration, a talent we took note of since she was about three years of age.  For the past few weeks we've been registering her for Freshman Orientation, talking to her college counselors and paying for her first set of bills for tuition, room and board.  My heart is filled with pride as well as pangs of bitter sweetness; she is my first to go off to college and experience living away from home and discovering a new world of her own. 

Still, it is with much excitement that we see her prepare for this next phase in her life.  She just received an official letter telling her she got into her desired college suites rather than the traditional brick and mortar dorm filled with halls full of rooms and shared bathrooms.  In these modern suites with four bedrooms she will have seven roommates and have an adjoining common area.  She does not have to deal with the dreaded hallway bathroom where loads of kids share stalls of toilets and showers.  She received a list with her roommates' contact information so they can begin calling each other and finding more about who they are.  This could be the beginning of some life long friendships.

My two younger daughters are already discussing how they will use her bedroom after she leaves.  One has already decided she will move into her big sister's bedroom and make a new bedroom/guest room from her former bedroom.   We don't want to make my college bound daughter feel like we're completely pushing her out of the nest, but we do want her to see that this is a big phase, and walking out our door to head to college is the first step toward her own independent life.  We know our children may "boomerang" back into our lives and home, and that's fine.  But we want them to know that this is a major milestone and they need to take responsibility for the decisions they make and the friendships they form.

While our daughter makes these preparations for college, I see that I need to be prepared for a life where our house will one day be quiet.  The noises that I never thought would fade such as the pitter patter of baby feet stomping evolve faster than a shooting star to the noises of toys clanging, children laughing, Disney movie music, Guitar Hero, and favorite TV shows.   The noises I hear at the kitchen counter where they tend to do their homework will be quieter than snow falling. These noises will ebb to the noises of just my husband and our family dog.  Our 84-year old neighbor once told my husband and me that when he looks back on his life - the period of time when he and his wife had children was a blur.  In the blink of an eye, they go from babies to adults and out of the house.  Married over 50 years, he told us his time with his children was shorter than the time they have had as a married couple.  So it's very important that you choose the right mate since you will hopefully be with them for a long time.

It is with a rush of these thoughts that I hug my daughter and cherish the remaining days of the summer of 2010.  We've built a great foundation for her, now it's her turn to add some bricks to her mortar.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comment here. We request word verification to prevent the spammers out there. Thanks a lot!