Students and their parades of helpers fill campus parking lots, bookstores, and grocery check outs.
As they should.
It’s a big day and the launch clock has begun.
Excitement and fear accompanied me the day I dragged my luggage into Anderson Hall at Georgia Southern. With my mid-80’s euro short-short hair and Benetton-inspired wardrobe, I had little clue what was ahead. (Neither did the unsuspecting folks of South Georgia.)
I just knew that college was important in the story and the 18 years hence were the introduction.
Along my pay-as-you-go college career were travel adventures, great sorrow (we lost my brother to cancer), plans blown to hell, venue changes, and a fluid declared major.
“College” remains the most emancipating and circuitous adventures I could have never expected.
Did I finish in Pre-Law/Political Science? No. Nor physics, international economics, photography, or journalism. I attended two colleges in Georgia and one both in Germany and Kansas.
I graduated in an entirely different universe than I began.
And I’m still traveling
thanks to the lingering effects of an infinite improbability drive.
Best ever college advice I received: Not long after my dad handed me my High School diploma in the Ulmer Kornhaus, he told me that I didn’t have to know exactly what I’d become during and after college. He wisely and generously offered that college is where I could try every interesting class because that is what college is for – to explore, try, fail, and refine a life-long taste for learning and living.
He also told me to take a P.E. class each quarter which I did. (Genius.)
So often kids and/or parents have devised a plan from day 1 of University through graduation and beyond. Weighty expectations drop anchor on what could be a brilliant voyage of discovery towards much-needed contribution and authentic joy.
Think about it:
We learn more about living when our boat runs aground
or ship loses its sails and the rudder needs repair.
It’s via the craptacular events when we encounter our courage
and – often – our special brand of super-genius.
Though, we all need pals and family to love us
cheering us on in our oft-churning voyage of living,
we don’t need an ever-present snow-shovel
to prepare the way before us.
This only teaches the lie that life should be easy
that we’re entitled to skipping along
unaffected by work, disappointment
or the feelings of others.
So on this move-in day, let’s commit to celebrating the current
and future brilliance of our kids, our peeps, and ourselves.
Let’s commit to loving over looming
encouraging over enabling
and allowing these people we love to live and learn and grow
into their own special super-genius.
They deserve the courtesy of living their own lives
and not the lives others have imagined for them.
Be brave folks.
Parenting is rife with calls for derring-do. And we’re up for it.