Don’t Blink

pic of aardvark day

Today I took my oldest to college to register for classes.  Wow.  When did that even happen?  Seriously, just yesterday I was up with her three-month old self for three hours straight because she wanted to play and would not go to sleep.  And today?  We’re registering for COLLEGE CLASSES?  The world has gone insane.

My Aub is going to my Alma Mater, Wesleyan College.  I’m thrilled, but it was completely and totally her choice, which brings me even greater joy.  She told someone today she’d wanted to go since she was five.  I think back to her pulling out my yearbooks that were almost too heavy for her to tote, then crashing on her bed, flipping through pictures of those good ol’ days.  In a year she will have a yearbook of her own filled with her first year memories.  Again, wow.

After we arrived, we sat downstairs in an area that used to be either the post office or the snack bar; I’ve gotten so turned around I can’t be sure.  We were asked to arrive early and wait for her name to be called.  They called her name and off she went.  Without me.  Big steps, people, big steps.  For me, that is.  She was fine.  I sat and worked on my challenge I’ve given myself–not to fiddle with my cell phone while waiting.  I’m trying to take in all around me and visit with folks when appropriate.  As I sat back in the chair, I heard voices carrying from around the corner.  It seemed to be a Dad talking to his daughter about her class schedule.

“See…..this is what you want here.  This will give you time to get up, exercise, shower, and then get ready for class…..” Dad said.

Whaaaaat?

Then Mom shared, “When your Day Planner arrives–it’s like your agenda from school–you can put all these in it.”

Hmmmmm.

Aren’t they cute?  I mean, really, couldn’t you just hug ’em?  I don’t know if I ever saw the family as it was starting to get crowded.  But if I’d seen them, I would have had to resist the urge.

Y’all are precious.  You think you’ve got her days mapped out just how they should go, AND that they are going to go just that way.

And they might.  For a few days.

I can remember days of 8:15 classes (good news, baby girl–now they’re backed up 15 minutes to 8 on the dot!), rolling out of bed, hairbrush, toothbrush, grab my books and roll–arriving in class with about two seconds to spare.  No breakfast, no exercise, no morning meditation.  I am sure this was not how my parents would have suggested I prepare for my days of learning, and it wasn’t how I started off my college experience, but it was what it was.

These young women have the opportunity to re-create themselves.  They get to try, if they want, being the person who gets up two hours before class, jogs, showers, meets friends for breakfast, and then on to class.  Or the person who wears yoga pants and t-shirts to class everyday.  Or the person who has never really been athletic but joins her class soccer team…..or volleyball…..or takes a Zumba or water aerobics class.  The person who didn’t study in high school can become the studious one whom everyone turns to for help in preparing for the mid-term.  The young woman who hasn’t been on stage since her fourth grade class play can try out for the first play of the season and find her niche in Porter Auditorium.  Though she may never have been very outgoing before, she might decide to run for class vice-president and win the election.  She can begin college thinking she’s going to be a teacher but instead graduate with a Psychology degree and dreams of graduate school.  So many doors are opening for these young women, they only have to decide which ones to walk through.

And that’s what I try to remind myself.  When I tell my girl about the adventures I had there, I want to remember she will create her own adventures.  She may want to be on STUNT Committee or become a Peer Counselor and RA, but she MIGHT NOT.  She may never set foot on the stage of Porter or put a toe in the pool.  And that is okay.  Did you hear that, Aub?  It’s okay.  I share these stories just to share them.  No pressure, no expectations.  Except two.

Be who you are.  And (quoting Mama) be your very best self.

Unless of course–

Yeah.  Pretty much the best advice.  Ever.

Yeah. Pretty much the best advice. Ever.

6 thoughts on “Don’t Blink

    • Not only was I in your building, I walked by what must be close to your office and overheard conversation about what Dr. Wilcox had said about something. (Yeah, real good listener I am.) It made me smile. I didn’t think you’d be there or I would have asked to see you. It was a good day that would have only been made better by a visit with you. Next time. I have a feeling I’ll be around a bit in the next four. 🙂 It was interesting to see red everywhere and think, “What? Oh. Oh yeah.” 🙂 Thanks for reading and saying hey. That means a lot!

  1. Wow, great advice! I can still remember my college days the first time around…So many new things to try and I too had those 8am classes and they were all mainly dance classes so even more difficult 🙂 Now this time around, the 8am classes weren’t so bad. I am also the student wearing yoga pants and a T-Shirt to class (well maybe not yoga pants, but workout clothes) only because I usually have to teach one of my fitness classes before my school classes. I feel blessed that I have been able to experience college in 2 totally different settings, back in the 80’s (no cell phones, no internet, or any of the other luxuries we have now) and now with all the technology. I often wonder how we ever survived having to actually go to the library, check out books and read them in order to do a research paper…and then having to type them on a typewriter. So much easier going to college today 🙂 Even though the times have changed, many things still remain the same…the many opportunities to make new friends, find new interests, get involved, make your own decisions, volunteer in the community, etc. Auburn, I hope you take advantage of these years to explore who you are and what you want to do with your life, so many great opportunities are before you now, it is up to you to go out there and get them! Dream big, work hard, and have fun! You are a remarkable young lady and I know there is nothing out there you can’t handle! Love ya

    • I had somewhat a similar experience in the ten years between my graduation and returning for grad school. It was definitely different and even more so now. Thank you for reading and always taking time to share, Mattie, and to encourage. I will make sure Aub sees your note to her. You still make a difference in her life, all that you taught her. I see it so often. Thank you for loving her too. She’s going to need all of us as she figures out who she is becoming. Love you.

  2. My college experience was very different. I had registered, to begin a journalism or teaching career, when my boyfriend said we were done if I went to college. We went on to get married and after we divorced, in my daughters senior year of high school, I explored the world of colleges through her. Besides wanting to ‘Save the Earth’, she loved whales so we visited a Christian college where she could study marine biology in Florida. Well, to make a long story short, she ended up at University of Minnesota in Duluth and switched to an elementary teaching degree after seeing all the fun her friends were having while she was loaded down with maths and biologies…learning how kids think, how to play piano for their music class, creating art experiences, simple science experiments…. I am so proud of Robin, who went on to teach for a few years then ended up as Education Coordinator for Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA. She was able to combine her teaching, love of children, and love of animals. God knows our hearts and she went on to become a children’s author and stay-at-home mother of four who continues to teach and love children and animals in countless ways.

    I know your daughter has a bright future ahead of her and although it may go in a different way, the foundation of her heart is what God is planning for her…a career and a life that fulfills her deepest desires and perfectly matches God’s original plan for her life. Isn’t that just like God? He just keeps on blessing…

    Love you, Tara!
    Deb

    • Your daughter’s journey is a beautiful one–it came around full circle, didn’t it? Thank you for sharing it. I am looking forward to seeing Aub’s great desires and gifts meet the world’s great needs. She is so excited about the next step, it is fun to see. Thanks for reading and for sharing. Love and best wishes.

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