Posts Tagged "orientation"

College Shopping, Orientation Exhaustion, and Pre-minders

tired puppyDear Kid,

Shopping for college is an endurance sport and I have just completed a double marathon.

You were there too, but you are young and strong and for the most part not paying. Picking up the bills should qualify me for a spot on the Olympic weight lifting team.

Linens? Check. Laptop? Check. Shampoo? Check. Beanbag chair, memo board, iHome? Check, check, and check.

And by “check,” I mean that I wrote a lot of them.

In truth, we were wildly efficient and while we certainly did our share to stimulate the economy in southwest Ohio (yes Carley, southWEST), we didn’t spend anything like the national debt of a small country. Score one for making lists, checking them twice, and shopping for bargains.

Extra points to Pi for cheerfully managing the lists.

And a big Thank You to Grandma for finding you the perfect sewing kit so we didn’t have to look for one. (And a small growl in your direction for not telling me about the sewing kit until I found it by accident as we were organizing our purchases.)

Important Item to Add to Your ToDo List: please arrange for good (or at least decent) weather the day of move-in. Unloading everything during a monsoon, snow storm, even a moderate drizzle will add considerably to the stress and I-may-have-to-kill-someone factor.

I can’t get over how exhausting orientation was. In a good way, but exhausting. It wasn’t that we were staying up half the night at some over-the-top parent reception or anything. We weren’t even out all night perfecting our version of Who’s on First? I think it was all the newness. And the learning. And the walking up hills.

I point this out not just for the sympathy you are supposed to show me (hint, hint) but as a pre-minder (that’s a reminder only in advance) that you should plan some significant sleeping during the first few weeks of school (big hint, big hint). You probably won’t want to – you’ll want to stay awake enjoying your freedom and your TV and your laptop and your new friends. But like a puppy who gets exhausted from lots of new sights and smells, all the new and exciting can wear you down quickly.

Exercising a dog’s mind wears them out MUCH faster than exercising their body for most breeds.

There won’t be anyone there to give you A Look and say something sage like “Come on, kid. Enough already.” And I am NOT one of those moms who will text you or call you to remind you to brush your teeth and go to sleep. (You are SO lucky.) I will remind you here. (Maybe not so much on the luck.)

So plan to clean up your toys and head to bed at a reasonable-ish hour those first few weeks. You’ll need that down time to process all the new and interesting in your life.

Just don’t forget to set your alarm. Because even though the University considers it optional (HA!), we bought you one and it works just fine.

I need a nap.

Love, Mom

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OU, Oh, Yeah! | College Orientation Part I

Ohio University College OrientationDear Kid,

Happy Second Day of Orientation. Personally, my little brain is completely overwhelmed from yesterday (Day One of Orientation) and I’m pretty sure it will take me several days weeks months to sift through everything and sort out my thoughts.

There was one thing that particularly struck me. The Dean of Students asked an interesting question. She asked, “What will you give to the University? You are going to be getting a lot during your time here, what will you do to give back?”

I thought that was a Most Excellent Question, one that I suspect most of us don’t think about very often when it comes to college. We think about getting an education, making new friends, preparing for a career. We might think about working a part time job or even volunteering. We might even think about volunteering without consideration to how it will eventually look good on a resume. But I don’t know that we often think about Giving Back to the School.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I went to college at a more jaded (differently jaded?) time (I’m sure I did, come to think of it).

The Dean encouraged everyone to consider ways to give back and make the school a better place than it is today. She talked about a variety of ways to do that—I’m sure there are a zillion more that she didn’t have time for or hasn’t considered yet.

As you think about the excitement of getting ready to go to college, it’s worth giving the Dean’s question a moment or two. More importantly, as you begin school in the fall, it’s a good question to tuck in the back of your brain. No one expects you to solve all the world’s problems your first day of class. But finding ways to make the world better, to repair all the rips and tears, is important.

Keep in mind the good that comes from putting your hand to what you find.

Hope Day Two is as good as Day One,

Love, Mom

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