Posts Tagged ‘college’
I may possibly be on the brink of insanity (again). Today after lo, so many years, I’m returning to college. This isn’t the first time, but I certainly hope it’s the last.
I started college while I was in high school …I went there in the morning for classes and then headed back to my high school in the afternoon for my “regular” schoolwork Originally, I had hoped to earn a degree in journalism — the whole idea sounded quite exciting and glamorous. I had no problem envisioning myself covering news stories like heated political protests in the midst of a crowded city street or crouched beneath a whirling tornado in the middle of a cornfield somewhere. Like any 19 year old, I was an immortal risk taker and was all for a little excitement. But when I told people of my hopes and dreams the typical response was, “Ohh…that’s such a competitive field. Do you really think you do it? And aren’t you worried about getting hurt?”
Yeah. As I got older, I actually did having concerns about errant Molotov cocktails or a couple of cornstalks getting embedded in my forehead. Plus I was a wimp. If the job market for journalism was competitive, it was much easier to give up before I even tried so eventually I dropped the idea.
But not to worry! I was able to land a fabulous 5 dollar an hour job working at an optical lab located in the moldy basement of a strip mall. From there I went on to work in sales support for a bunch of perverted men at a booming computer manufacturer, and eventually I was employed as an account service representative at a medical instrument company located near the Mississippi River.
After Stella and Noah were born, I quit my job and began working from home so Ron and I could forego putting our kids in daycare. I figured out how to do all kinds groovy things on my own like web design, graphics, and freelance writing. I even took a few college classes in web programming but ultimately figured out that really wasn’t my bag, either.
So now, 7 years after that last college stint (now that I’m practically at retirement age…), I’ve decided to dive back into the whole college thing and get the English degree I should have gotten decades ago. I cannot even tell you how many times I have wanted to kick myself for not doing this earlier (and by the way– I’ve learned that it’s actually super hard to kick yourself).
One thing I have been able to take away from my initial mistakes and fears is wisdom. I have learned that my kids need to get a degree. Any kind of degree — even if it’s a BA in Peanut Butter Sandwich Making. They need to do it because it does open doors. It will make difference in what an employer will pay. It can make the difference between getting a job in a moldy optical lab in the basement of a strip mall or landing work in a clean, spore-free environment.
So, wish me luck today as I head out the door with my sharpened pencils, spiral notebooks, brand new Hello Kitty backpack, and the used textbook in “good” condition I scored from Amazon for a mere $20. In a few days, I’ll let you know how my first day went.
Stella, our college freshman, has a friend named Kayla who is driving up to visit her for the weekend at the University she attends in the northern part of the state. Kayla lives close to our home so Stella wants her to stop by our house before she leaves to pick up a few extremely critical supplies she desperately needs delivered to her for college survival.
As much as I hate grocery shopping, I don’t really mind picking up a few things to send along to school for her today. And I’m really not sure why she needs a dress at the University, but whatever. To be honest, I’m just glad she asked me to send up chocolate instead of a couple cases of beer and a carton of cigarettes.
Did you get “care packages” from home when you went to college or moved out? What kinds of things did they include? And most important of all, did you love them or were they repulsive like the attic-flavored cookies my friend used to get from her grandma?
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My husband and I are planning an afternoon trip in the next few days to visit our daughter, Stella, who is a freshman at a university located about 135 miles from our home. She’s excited to see us. Wait… let me rephrase that. She’s excited to see us bringing her grocery bags brimming with snacks and treats.
Before she left for college, we joked a lot about “the freshman 15” and that when she returned home for Thanksgiving we may not recognize her because she’d probably be “super-sized.” For those who don’t know what the “freshman 15” is, it’s the idea that during a student’s first year in college they will pack on a hefty 10 to 15 pounds. The weight gain is said to be attributed to overindulging in soda, beer, the dining hall all-you-can-eat buffets, greasy snacks, Friday night pizza, and whatever other goodies they can muster up.
Interestingly enough, I read an article published at msnbc.com just this morning that contradicts this notion, boldly entitled “ ‘Freshman 15′ officially just a myth.” The article, based on a study done by the Social Science Quarterly, proposes that the common belief college freshman will gain a whopping 15 pounds is bunk. A fish tale. Made up. It claims the average female will gain a mere 3.1 pounds and the average male 3.5 pounds their first year of college.
Well, I need to challenge the study a teeny-tiny bit because there actually is a 15 pound weight gain in relation to college freshmen. Really, there is! I completed a study of my own when I — mom of a college freshman — stepped on the scale about two days ago and noted that I was now topping out at a …shall we say…much higher poundage than I sported back on August 30th.
Meanwhile, my daughter, holed up in her dorm room subsisting on saltine crackers and Hershey’s Kisses, told me she has actually lost weight since she’s been at school. A whole 5 pounds gone because the dining hall meal plan we paid $924 for isn’t edible.
So, how did I end up with the extra weight? I can attribute some of it to the fact that I’m no longer traipsing behind her like did when she was home, gathering up the trail of shoes, jackets, school books, candy wrappers, dirty dishes, and blah, blah, blah she’d discard along her way. Or it might be because I’m not performing as many strenuous laundry room calisthenics in front of the washer and dryer without those extra baskets heaped with her dirty clothes. But I suspect a gargantuan piece of the puzzle is that I am no longer forced to vie with her for the delicious, calorie-packed snacks that we have found to be so mutually yummy. There is no more rationing between us. No more splitting, portioning, or dividing. I can gleefully gluttonize solo on the chips, chocolate, and Laughing Cow spreadable cheese that I used to have to share with her. Now, it’s mine. All mine. And despite my new Santa-esque figure and the fact that I really miss Stella, it’s glorious.
What are some of the ups and downs you have experienced since your child moved out, both good and bad (or sad!)? Have you noticed a lot of changes around your home? Leave me a comment!