In part 1 I shared the beginning of my adventure attending Parent Orientation at American University with my soon to be freshman daughter. Now the real fun begins.... staying overnight in the dorm......
All settled in to my “cozy” dorm room, I tried to get to sleep in a bed the size of a Tic Tac box, with the sheet that kept reeling up until I wound up looking like a Twizzler. Darn… I knew I should have packed the king-size Tempurpedic. Well at least I fared better than some parents who were tripled sleeping in bunk beds and lofts! My roommate, Cindy came in late and I was so exhausted I feigned sleep. In the morning I learned that some woman actually was matched with a man by mistake…now that would have been something to write home about.
The morning brought the challenge of the showers. I have seen some small hotel towels but nothing to compare with this. Sara who weighs 100 pounds soaking wet even felt it was on the minute side. One really had to choose which 1/60th of their body to strategically cover. Those parents who slept in hotels (most of them) are total wimps, I’m telling you. They missed the entire whole “relive the college experience”. Wandering about in the wee hours with keys around our necks we resembled a cross between aging hippies and residents of assisted living. Only this time we were traversing the halls not because we were just returning from parties but because we all had to use the facilities at that time of night
The Orientation itself was informative. The very professional staff did a lot of reassuring, that our kids would get a great education for the cost while staying safe and having fun. During the Activities Fair, Sara signed up for everything from Women’s Rugby to Ecosense, conspicuously avoiding my suggestion to check out the spiritual life table. The closing ceremony with the slide show of our two days of camaraderie and the AU Eagle cheer led by the fuzzy mascot was so touching that tears sprang to my eyes, truly.
The ride home was…. well imagine all the beach traffic along the entire Eastern seaboard converging on I-95 and you get the picture. We didn’t arrive home until midnight. Revved up on a Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte, I managed to not only stay awake but rock out to the IPod, the whole way singing along with Sara at the top of our lungs to “Get Low” by Lil John as we took to the lower level of the GW Bridge. This progressed to Ray Charles, “Hit the Road Jack “and many more. We laughed so hard my sides hurt and I realized with an ache how very much I was going to miss her….
Here are some words of wisdom for all parents about to be placed in a similar situation. Harlan Cohen, author of “The Naked Roommate” and “The Happiest Kid on Campus” advises: “Our role is to help our students learn to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. “ On that note, while this time of transition may be challenging, help your child see that it will be an amazing and worthwhile journey for you both.