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Saturday, August 16th 2008

8:44 AM

My Real Life College Road Trip Part II

This week, many baby boomer parents, like me, have been going through the experience of sending their children off to college for the first time.  We are becoming something called “empty nesters.”

I would like to say helping my daughter enroll into college for the first time was a wonderful and teary-eyed experience---but it wasn’t. My greatest disappointment is the fact that she didn’t even consider my alma mater—but instead, chose to go to the school her father and my WAS-band went to.  This decision was made in spite of the fact that he offered no support and no consultation.  In hindsight, it’s probably better that he didn’t because that probably would’ve made matters worse!

Unlike my daughter, all I had to do when I arrived on the Ohio University campus was find my residence hall and move in.  My daughter, on the other hand, was ill prepared for what was to come on her orientation day because she had not taken care of certain things in advance.  She had no housing assignment and no class schedule.  Her immunization records had not been turned in. 

Some things have definitely changed.  Unlike when I was in college, incoming freshman have to take an English and Math exam to see what level they’re on.  I thought that’s what the SAT’s were for.  The good news is she scored a perfect 100 in English but failed miserably in Math.  She may end up changing her major from Business to something else since she will be required to take a few Math courses along the way.

While my husband (her step dad) and I were waiting for her to finish with her testing, I stepped up to try to close some of the gaps by trying to get her a room assignment and request her immunization records from her doctor. 

Then it hit me.  The reason my daughter was so laxidasical with this process is because she had been so accustomed to me doing everything for her. In the football game of life, I was her linebacker.  I blocked for her time after time when she was faced with challenges.  As her quarterback I called plays for her to make sure her transitions were smooth.  I would also tackle for her if someone was trying to keep her from excelling—especially her teachers. 

I have become the type of baby boomer parent I have written about and been critical of.  I made it too easy for my daughter to get through life up to this point. 

After 12 hours of walking around on campus trying to handle things, once again, on her behalf, I have decided the buck has to stop here.  It’s time she learned about struggles and heartaches, success and failures on her own—without my interference.    I just hope and pray that I’ve taught her enough that she will stand on her own and rise to the challenge.

7 message(s).

Posted by Eileen:

Bev...maybe we should make this weekend empty nester weekend. Your daughter sounds like my son. When he left, I did most of the work. He was still doing laundry the night before and was basically clueless. Do we do too much for them? I don't know; I suppose we do. I would like to think that I did things equally for both of my kids, but their personalities are just so different. Like you said in the last line of your post, we just need to hope and pray that we have taught them enough so that they can stand on their own. Some of them, however, will take the easy route and some the hard route!
Saturday, August 16th 2008 @ 9:15 AM

Posted by yasmin:

sniff...sniff...my oldest will be off to college in two years so I'm going to take notes and live vicariously via you. Also I'll keep baby girl in prayer...she's going to be okay...it's amazing how leaving home and being on our own forces us to grow up quick fast and in a hurry...or else!
Saturday, August 16th 2008 @ 11:22 AM

Posted by Dr. Sally Witt:

Beverly, wow that was a different story than I expected to read!

Yes, your daughter is lucky that you have done all that you have for her. She may stumble a bit without you, but that is the lesson that we all have to learn!

How interesting that you used a football analogy. I hope that she gets used to everything before she has to ask for your help!



Saturday, August 16th 2008 @ 12:37 PM

Posted by Betty Lynch:

Hang in there Diva Bev!! One day you and your daughter will look back on these days and laugh.

Big Hugs,

Saturday, August 16th 2008 @ 1:08 PM

Posted by Beverly:


I certainly hope so!
Saturday, August 16th 2008 @ 1:14 PM

Posted by Karen O'Bannon:

That scenario is all too common. Love just won't let us get out of the way sometimes. My mom did a lot for me and I have found myself doing too much for my girls. But in the end it all works out if they at least get the basics. Her experience is going to be great.:)
Saturday, August 16th 2008 @ 1:19 PM

Posted by Carla Nix:

Hi Beverly. I do understand. I have been this route twice (son and daughter). I have to say that the football analogy is me too, but I must say that I don't regret it. I couldn't see myself NOT doing all of that for them, especially for the 1st year of college. There is no way I could have left everything up to them. What I did was to SHOW them how to handle the business of college. I took care of most everything, but they were right alongside me. Residence Hall - I HAD to know this info b/c I would not have been able to rest not knowing all of the details. Besides, I had to send in a huge deposit for my son's residence hall. Additionally, for Orientation for each, I had to also send in money for that (there was a fee). Also, in both cases, there was also Parent's Orientation for the freshman. So, I had to know all of that information. All I'm saying is that for that 1st year, it is not a bad thing to hold their hand as they acclimate to college life. Trust me, just like my daughter, after that, yours will be taking the bull by the horn and running w/it. They learn quickly, but there's nothing better than experience that teaches them. Hang in there! It's amazing how much your daughter will learn and even grow up this year. You have taught her well, regardless of how things turned out this week.
Saturday, August 16th 2008 @ 5:31 PM

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