Jul 11, 2023

The one where I talk about college orientation

Honestly, I didn’t know what to title this so there you go. Probably not great for SEO, but what does SEO even stand for anyway?

I’m not sure if I’ve introduced everyone in my family, but I have one husband, two dogs, one cat, one fish and four (yes…four) kids. All girls. Yes, all four are girls. Yes, we know how it happened. Our girls are 20, 18, 15 and 7.

The 20-year-old graduated from a trade school and works full-time at a salon. The 18-year-old is off to college very soon. So, we have done the college thing, but only partly because the oldest lived at home while attending cosmetology school.

This next one is the first one to leave for school and she’s leaving the state. Will be just over 5 hours away.

There’s your backstory.

Now, let’s get on with the part where I talk about college orientation.

We spent a few days in Charleston, SC for Allison’s orientation. She’s been to the town several times before on family trips and we’d also toured the campus on our own several months back. This was the official visit to register for classes and such. If you have or have had a college kid, then you know the drill.

But if you’re a college graduate now living life in your mid to late 40s like we are? This orientation thing might be new to you. Just like it was for Tony and I. I didn’t even visit my college beforehand. Heck. I didn’t even apply to more than one school. I just sent in a paper application, got a letter back called Yay You You’re In, called on the house phone to register for classes via an automated prompting deal (and figured out all on my own which ones I needed), then showed up on the first day.

tRiCkY sTuFf RiGhT tHeRe

Anyway, back to the college orientation post I was writing….

We get to Charleston the day before orientation and stay in an AirBnB that’s about a 10 minute walk to campus. Which, every time we go to Charleston (which has been many times) I always assume the place we stay in is haunted by an 1823 ghost. This time was no different.

We have zero plan. And by “we” I mean Tony and I. You know why?

BECAUSE WE AREN’T GOING TO SCHOOL AT THIS PLACE.

Allison knows the time and place of orientation. She’s the boss here. We are basically just her 5 hour Uber ride to the college of her choice. She knows to have a laptop, paper, pencil, whatever else she needs. Monday morning we follow her out the door and down the street.

Oh. One more thing: This 2 day activity is called Student PARENT Orientation.

But I ain’t doin’ it so you can forget that Parent part.

We walk our however many blocks it took to add up to a 10 minute walk. Find the table to check in. Conveniently, the PARENT Last Name Starts With A G table is right next to the STUDENT Last Name Starts With A G table. Allison gets a student packet. Tony and I get a parent packet.

We are then told to get name tags in a different area of the courtyard. Actually, the Name Tag Table was in the way back area of the courtyard. So, as we are walking (letting Allison lead), I see all these parents with name tags on which also include their hometowns.

Okay. Why?

We make up our minds right there that we aren’t getting a name tag.

Also, on the way to the Name Tag Table, I look down at the handy dandy parent packet to see that there are classes for parents to attend. The first one is three hours long and includes topics such as “Where your student will eat lunch”, “Question and Answer Campus Tour”, and “Where your student can work out”. THREE. HOURS.

Listen. I’m all about supporting Allison. But you know what? She’s a big girl and can figure out for herself where she’s gonna eat and also work out. Why do I need a tour of the campus? I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THESE THINGS BECAUSE THIS IS NOT MY LIFE.

It’s hers.

At one point, she’s in line to get her school ID and she’s having to wait a while for the mom and dad in front of her to finish asking questions. Tony and I are standing way back waiting for Allison. It’s taking so long that I walk up next to her to hear what that mom and dad are discussing because I’m nosy.

You wanna take a guess at what it was?

THE BUS STOP TIMES AND DROP-OFF POINTS. And the parents were doing all of the talking. The poor kid was just standing there. Probably thinking “Mom. I can wipe my own tail and blow my own nose, I’m okay finding the shuttle.” But she didn’t say anything. The mom though? The mom asks “How long will she have to wait at the stop for the bus to come and what if it’s raining, is there cover and a bench there?”

Bless ’em Lord.

We then realize that many parents, after we split up into our Parent Classes and Student Classes, will meet their student for lunch.

Us to Allison: Are you good with lunch with those friends over there or do you want us to meet you?

Allison to Us: Um. Why would we eat lunch together?

That’s my girl.

So, I looked at Tony and said something like “I’m hungry. I’m not staying here. Let’s go get breakfast and skip all these stupid classes that have nothing to do with us because WE ALREADY DID COLLEGE SO WE WIN THIS THING CALLED COLLEGE ORIENTATION.”

We left. We didn’t turn back. We didn’t wonder if she’d make it to her first seminar. We didn’t ask if she had money for food. We didn’t check to see if she had on comfortable walking shoes.

We just.

LEFT.

Because she is a grown-up person. She can join the military and kill the enemy in battle so I’ll be damned if I’m going to make sure she gets to the shuttle on time on a rainy day FOR A MEASLY COLLEGE CLASS.

Okay so it’s not “measly” it’s actually so expensive that I keep crying over that part, but whatever. You know what I mean.

She can wipe her tail and brush her teeth and tie her shoes so no I actually do not want the Question and Answer College Tour because I am not the student and it’s not my job to know where the library is. It’s Allison’s.

So Tony and I walked away and right into the breakfast bar. Literally. We sat at the bar for breakfast. Where I spilled my 2nd mimosa all over the parent packet we were given. Isn’t it ironic?

And you know what? On Day Two of Skipping the Parent Classes, I looked on Find My iPhone to see what part of town Allison was in after her seminars had finished. And guess where she was?

The library.

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