A glance or a bat of an eye? Yes, it’s gone by fast but it hasn’t been easy. August rolled around and it was time to go. G-O, that’s right. We shopped at Bed Bath and Beyond, shipped all of his personal items, paid tuition and caught our flight. The most exciting thing happening was the full eclipse was expected on the second day of school and as luck would have it, his campus was the epicenter of it all. One million visitors ascended onto campus for a glimpse of the total eclipse. Unfortunately, his dad and I missed it. We had to catch our flight to help the eldest son move in.
Let’s back up.
We arrived, checked in to our hotel and explored the town a bit. We made our way to the post office and picked up the packages we had shipped. We were ready for the big move in day. Did I mention the travel day did not go well for me? I didn’t tell anyone but the pressure I was feeling on my right side was not normal. I kept it to myself and skipped a few meals.
I Googled symptoms for appendicitis and gull bladder and at that point, Web M.D. had me convinced I was having an appendicitis attack. Yep, in Smallville! No way, this is happening to me. I refuse to get stuck in this small town. After Googling the typical hospital stay for an apenticitis, I decided to move slowly, stay seated, and don’t eat. Self diagnosis was my plan, at least until I got closer to home. I kept telling my husband it’s just nerves and I’ll be fine (with tears of course). The pain was unbearable but I was going to bear it.
We unpacked, met the roomy and his parents, formed my impression (can you guess?) and said our good-byes. After all, tearing off the band-aid quickly is the best way. We had an early flight and the freshmen were being summand to the quad for a class welcome. I hesitated to say good-bye but knew the time had come. I still get teary eyed thinking about that moment. I knew it wasn’t the place for him but he was being brave and willing to try. My heart was pounding. I was sure he could see it and hear it but nevertheless, he gave me the trademark head bump and distant hug and we both walked away. The next morning my husband and I woke up at 4:00 am to catch an early morning flight out of the nearest airport which is 50 miles away. I cried all the way there. Fifty miles of tears and wanting to turn back and rescue the poor kid I left behind. I knew he was feeling lonely and sadly, disappointed in himself. What was all the hard work for? I knew exactly what he was thinking. He was not where he wanted to be but willing to stick it out because his mother asked him to. He didn’t want to be labeled the failure. After all, his #5 wait list school was ranked #20 Public School according to you got it, US News and World Report. It was first choice to many of his classmates including his new roomy. But who cares? It wasn’t his first choice or even second or third or fourth. I still can’t believe this was his outcome. Where did we fail our kids?
He worked hard and did everything right. And yet, fifth choice it is.
Thank goodness for football season. When you’re attending the college with the number one football program in the country, it makes things a little easier (if you’re a football fan). The entire town is dressed in orange and we were no different. We visited six weeks after saying that hard good-bye and thought things were looking up. He made friends, was attending parties, was doing well academically and liked his roommate. So what’s wrong now?
Remember he was going to save the world. The nature loving, wildlife protector had run into a few too many southerners who spend their weekends hunting the ones he loves and throwing them on the barbecue. So it turns out, the college of environmental science is also the college of agriculture so he has spent the first six weeks of school learning about guns and ammunition from his classmates. I tried to explain this may be a good thing because it will teach him how to defend animal rights and the forest that he loves. I went on to remind him about the circle of life. “We need to thin out the forest”, I said. That’s a bunch of crock to an animal/nature lover like him. So he changed his major. Was that the solution?
It couldn’t be that easy.
Of course not.
He made it home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break. My husband attended Dad’s Weekend and I visited in April. So basically, we were seeing him every 6-8 weeks. I thought this would help but it didn’t.
Although second semester has been better than his first, he’s moving back permanently. He spent his Winter Break filling out college applications AGAIN. Yes, this is our third year in a row filling out applications, writing essays, and playing the waiting game (once for his brother and twice for him). And now what are we doing? Waiting. That’s right. You guessed it. Waiting to hear from his dream school. I don’t know how many times this kid can be rejected and recover so I am holding on to hope that he will be among the 29% acceptance rate for transfer students versus the 15% freshmen acceptance rate. He received a letter requesting his final grades when they become available. According to College Confidential, some transfers have already been admitted, some rejected and the third bunch received a same letter he did.
This can’t happen twice.
Or can it?
We’ll see what the future holds. Is he meant to attend his dream school? Time will tell because of course we have to WAIT!