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Thread: Reflections on first week of College

  1. #1

    Reflections on first week of College

    Over the weekend Mrs. T and I moved our oldest daughter into her dorm room. She is beginning her freshman year at an excellent University in the Windy City. The University is about 6 hours from our home so she won't be coming home often. Needless to say it was a very emotional weekend - many tears were shed. However, the University handled it well. The wine and cheese party for the parents after the students were sent off for the class picture was great.

    Over the weekend I thought about my first week at college, leaving my family and starting out on my own. I remember my mom crying and my dad telling me how proud he was and to do my best. I remember being anxious, wondering if I could handle the academics, if I would make friends, if I would fit in.

    I gave my daughter the basic fatherly advise: stay away from loud drunken parties, don't date until you have your PhD and are making a six figure salary, and study hard. On a more serious note, my last words to her that day were I loved her, I was proud of her and to knock them dead - you will do great things here.

    So for those fellow cyburbians young enough to remember that first week of college life, what are your reflections? How did you feel - worried, excited, anxious? What words of wisdom did your parents pass on to you? Did you listen to them and take it to heart?

    For those older Cyburbians that may have sent children off to college, how did you feel? What words of wisdom did you pass along? Did they listen to you?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Well, I'm in my second year at college, and I remember moving in the first day. It was quite simple and they seemed to have a good format set-up and people would actually help you move your stuff in. It really wasn't an emotional day or anything...just a little stressful and tiring. My parents helped me set up my room and hung around for the "Huskie Bash" food/entertainment/family fun thingy they had on the campus grounds. And then they went home. It was really nice having a 4-day weekend to do nothing but just get settled into campus life. I didn't really abuse the freedom though. I mean, how are you supposed to go party if you don't even know anyone yet. But I quickly became comfortable with campus life, got involved, and got to know people. I say one of the best things you can do on campus is become active in at least one organization...it's a) good experience, b) a window of opportunity, c) a guaranteed circle of friends, and d) it gives you something to do.

    I'm sure my parents miss me, but there was no crying when they left or anything. If there was, I don't know about it. Besides, I'm only 45 minutes away and try to make it home at least for part of every weekend. I s'pose it's nice having the luxury of being close to home, but not too close. And my parents know it's college and I'm gonna drink and stuff, but i think they know I'm honest and trust my judgement.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    ^-- Crying is a girl thing.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb View post
    ^-- Crying is a girl thing.
    Yeah...parents never cry when dropping off a son...they're generally very excited to finally get his lazy, slovenly arse out of the house.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Well...I never "went away" to college since I was married when I started college. I thought it was a lot of fun as far as the classes were concerned because I was learning a lot of new things.

    However....I just recently moved away to college at age 32 with my 13 year old in-tow for graduate school. I live in university family housing on campus and although the apartment has much to be desired, the overall experience is proving to be better than I anticipated. It's a bit freaky to be in a place where you don't know any one or any thing. Classes are challenging, but everyone has proved to be friendly and helpful so far. My daughter and I are involved in some of the more family friendly activities regularly and she is fully enjoying being exposed to college life before she even goes herself. As far as sending her off to college....I am going to be a wreck but she will be just fine.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by transformer View post
    So for those fellow cyburbians young enough to remember that first week of college life, what are your reflections? How did you feel - worried, excited, anxious?
    I was a stranger in a strange land. My parents were still in England, where I graduated from high school and I was in central Kansas going to a NAIA school. I have three major recollections of that semester.

    1. I was on a mission to do well. I hunkered down in my dorm room for 3 hours a night working on home work and did quite well that first semester. I haven't taken my own acedemics that seriously since - I guess I found it easier as time went on.

    2. Culture shock.... I was used to being "out of the norm" so I was comfortable with being myself anywhere. However, at first those around me were not as comfortable with me as I was with them..... That was until I met the debaters, who BTW were collectively the most unbelieveable combination of brains, intense study habits, eclectic and ecentric tastes and recreational substance abusers.

    3. Common Ground --- music, pool, beer, video games and card games on a coed dormitory tend to bring people together. So even though I was clearly "not like the others" these on floor ice breakers made them more comfortable with me. I was soon welcomed into most rooms for a little bit of this and that....
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  7. #7
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ahhh.....

    I think I'm going to cry.....sniff.....

    Sounds great, I'm very happy today, because my teenage daughter gave ME a hug yesterday out of the blue...... Man that was super cool......

    Six hours is not far enough.....you'll be seeing her most weekends and doing her laundry anyway..... Six hours....jeesh....might as well be 1 hour....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I was the second to leave home for college and it wasn't a big deal for my parents or for me. They drove me from FL to Massachusetts, spent a day getting me settled, then took off for a week in Vermont and New Hampshire. They checked in briefly on their way home, to see if I needed to shop for anything else for my dorm room, then headed home. I had been busy acclimating and starting classes so I didn't really get homesick until the holidays approached.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    My first day away at university:

    1) My parents and I dined on colonial-style food and I vomited on the hotel elevator from a combination of gross colonial food and nervousness

    2) We drove through the worst American slum my parents had ever seen on the way to the school

    3) The elevator was broken, so all of the newly arriving students had to lug their furniture up the stairs (my room was on the 8th floor)

    4) We had an early dinner at a nice restaurant out in the 'burbs, and after dinner I boarded a train back to school and my parents began their 6 hour drive home

    5) My mom chased the train for a few blocks with tears running down her cheeks

    6) I got back to the dorm, got lectured by the RA, met my dorky bandmember roommate, made a lot of new friends and started smoking

  10. #10
    Although I am one of the older (in chronological terms) members, I have yet to experience sending one of my heirs off to college. If kindergarten was any indication, Mrs. G and I will be bawling wrecks.

    My own experience was mostly fun. Unfortunately, I had the roommate from he!!, and that was the only bummer. I don't recall any words of wisdom from my parents, but I do remember a care package from a friend that arrived in my mailbox. I think it was 420, IIRC

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    A couple of things stick out in my mind about my first week of college:

    1. Two of the guys (out of a total of four, including myself) that were supposed to share a suite in the dorm didn't enroll, so I got a bedroom to myself - quite the coup for a freshman.

    2. I met the future Mrs. Bubba my second night on campus.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    My parents dropped me off about 4 hours from home. I wanted them to leave; wanted to see the place by myself and start meeting people. My roomate was already there, I unpacked my stuff and she says "Do you want to have a drink?" ugughgughgu sat on the floor of our dormroom taking shots of vodka and chasing it with OJ....the next thing I remember is my RA knocking on the door saying, "Jaxspra, didn't you say you had an 8:30 a.m. biology class?"....that was my first day of college....the rest of first semester was a little more of the same. I finally realized they wouldn't let me stay if I didn't start attending some classes

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    I was horrified my first day at college. As my family pulled away from the parking lot I remember thinking to myself........"Why the hell did I pick a college in the middle of the Upper Peninsula and 8 hours away from home." I didn't know a single person that first day. I guess it all worked out though. I ended up becoming extremly involved on the NMU campus and Marquette community. On the second day of college, I met my fiance Shelly whom I will be getting married to this weekend. I guess that should be included as another BIG highlight of my college years!

  14. #14
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jringel View post
    I was horrified my first day at college. As my family pulled away from the parking lot I remember thinking to myself........"Why the hell did I pick a college in the middle of the Upper Peninsula and 8 hours away from home." I didn't know a single person that first day. I guess it all worked out though. I ended up becoming extremly involved on the NMU campus and Marquette community. On the second day of college, I met my fiance Shelly whom I will be getting married to this weekend. I guess that should be included as another BIG highlight of my college years!
    Were you michealskis' roommate?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Yeah...parents never cry when dropping off a son...they're generally very excited to finally get his lazy, slovenly arse out of the house.
    Actually, they're not. I'm the good son, and they'd probably rather have me at home for the rest of my life, as I actually help out my parents and around the house, unlike a majority of today's spoiled youth.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  16. #16
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I almost cried a few times last week due to being overwhelmed and somewhat confused.

    My first go round at school was a bit of a joke. However, my mother cried when they left.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  17. #17
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    Actually, they're not. I'm the good son, and they'd probably rather have me at home for the rest of my life, as I actually help out my parents and around the house, unlike a majority of today's spoiled youth.
    Then you are/were in the 99.99999824 percentile of late-teen males.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  18. #18
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Geez, what's with all the sterotypes? I'm sure it's not that bad.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  19. #19
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    It is so way different in Australia. It is very unusual to go to a University that is not in your State and Capital City- So i am still at home, takes me an hour and a half to get to Uni each time i need to go.

    So mum and dad did not shed tears, there is three of us in this household at uni- they love having us round, i dont think they ever want us to leave... which has its good and bad points.

    First couple of days of uni were great- they has jumping castles and fairy floss and all sorts of activities. I made friends instantly that week, which was great!

    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Then you are/were in the 99.99999824 percentile of late-teen males
    I have brothers- you are SO right

    Quote Originally posted by The One
    Sounds great, I'm very happy today, because my teenage daughter gave ME a hug yesterday out of the blue...... Man that was super cool......
    I never used to hug my dad, until recently, where now i will just randomly give him hugs- he loves it, smile always lights up his face (im such a daddy's girl!)
    Last edited by natski; 20 Sep 2006 at 7:05 PM. Reason: thought of something extra
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
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    Well... those who remember when I got here, will remember that at first I wasn't studying Geography, but Architorture... but I got out of that quickly, and I had stayed home while studying Architorture, but I just realized that I had to stop fooling myself and study geography, and to do so I had to leave home... I got used to it soon and heck I've been living alone for over a year now (I was in a dorm for the first year).

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
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    A little different story

    Our daughter got an apartment here in town and started community college. Her roomate, who was supposed to start school as well, began sponging off our daughter. It soon became obvious the roomate was heavily into drugs. Within hours of finding this out, we moved out daughter out. Today we found out the roomate was arrested for conspiracy to manufacture methanphetamine. Now our daughter is sleeping on our couch, but she's safe and continuing with school. What a mess.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    Boarding school

    A little different twist. My daughter is an elite hockey player. Through a series of events including her team, Honeybaked, folding, we looked at options.

    In the end she enrolled Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota, 11 hours from Detroit. Hockey is part of the school's center of excellance. My daughter is a bit younger than a college student. Mom and daughter cried a little. She will be managed by the school. She losed some freedom, and is required to use more independence. Both parents and daughter knew this was the best, academically and for the hockey development and exposure.

    The first road trip for hockey is this weekend, Winnipeg, Manitoba. They take a rock and roll bus and tutors. I will rarely ever see her play. They will send DVD's. That is the hard part, the distance.
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

  23. #23
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon View post
    Our daughter got an apartment here in town and started community college. Her roomate, who was supposed to start school as well, began sponging off our daughter. It soon became obvious the roomate was heavily into drugs. Within hours of finding this out, we moved out daughter out. Today we found out the roomate was arrested for conspiracy to manufacture methanphetamine. Now our daughter is sleeping on our couch, but she's safe and continuing with school. What a mess.
    During my first semester, this raver kid in the dorm across the street from me was arrested by the DEA for having several sheets of LSD in his room. Last I heard, he was sentenced to life in prison. Sad, sad story.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jringel View post
    I was horrified my first day at college. As my family pulled away from the parking lot I remember thinking to myself........"Why the hell did I pick a college in the middle of the Upper Peninsula and 8 hours away from home." I didn't know a single person that first day. I guess it all worked out though. I ended up becoming extremly involved on the NMU campus and Marquette community. On the second day of college, I met my fiance Shelly whom I will be getting married to this weekend. I guess that should be included as another BIG highlight of my college years!
    NMU sucks you into getting involved...

    My first week was a cross between a haze of parties and hangovers. While I did not know anyone when I got there, I knew some people when I got out. I was quiet until I went to college, after that I came out of my shell.

    Oh and I went to class too.

    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Were you michealskis' roommate?
    Nope... but I am sure that he voted for me for Student Government President.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  25. #25
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by natski View post
    It is so way different in Australia. It is very unusual to go to a University that is not in your State and Capital City- So i am still at home, takes me an hour and a half to get to Uni each time i need to go.

    So mum and dad did not shed tears, there is three of us in this household at uni- they love having us round, i dont think they ever want us to leave... which has its good and bad points.
    Thats how us 'po folks americans afforded college too Nat. In my circle this was the normal route. Of those that went away approximately 50 percent had to quit because they were in too much debt after a year or two. I never understood why lower income people thought they were privelidged ($$) enough to go away school. If you are lower income and lived on a farm hours from a city I can understand going away, but for most city residents, its a waste of money.

    I can remember how going from an inner-city catholic high school to a community college actually lowered my school costs. In high school I was expected to pay 50 percent. In college 100 percent.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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