Away to College

August 27, 2007 at 7:51 am Leave a comment

Sammy is now checked in and away at college and surprisingly I’m not as affected as I thought I’d be.  I do have a new layer of anxiety in my life with an 18 year-old left alone and unsupervised in college…but there’s not much I can do about it now.  Sure, I can cross my fingers and pray, and I’ve done both, but it’s in Sammy’s hands now.

 I’m not saying I’m abandoning him to sink or swim, but I’ve decided to cut him lots of slack to let him see what he can do and figure out what he wants to do. 

This past weekend was the big move in.  It was a bit anticlimactic, a bit less than I thought it might be.  Maybe I’d built it up too much in my head, but it was really a “matter of fact” kinda thing.


Sammy wanted to leave on the long drive to campus at 5am on Saturday morning…not my idea of fun.  I told Sammy we didn’t need to leave so early, but what do dads know.  I honestly decided to keep my opinions out of a lot of this whole thing because I didn’t want to spend the whole day saying “you should do it this way”.  I do have to add that I was right, we did leave too early because we arrived on campus 90 minutes too early to check in.  But hey, no “I told you so” from me…I went with it and suggested breakfast to kill time.  And then we went to the football stadium and ran all over the field…that was fun.


There were a few other times I just couldn’t bite my tongue and had to say something because I truly knew Sammy was going about things the wrong way.  Of course, in loving dad fashion, I didn’t tell him to do it a certain way…I’d just suggest he might try it that way.  That way, it was his decision and I felt good because I got my two cents in.


At check-in time we…checked-in.   It only took about 30 minutes to cart everything up to his room.  Again, I really had to fight the urge to tell him how he “should” be doing things.  Sammy and his roommate Nelson brought way too much stuff for their small closet-sized room.  They have 6 guitars, a homemade guitar rack, 5 or 6 guitar amps, Nelson’s full-sized drum set, two computers, a fridge and microwave…oh and finally clothes and everything else they really need.


It was obvious this was not all going to fit…a point which 13 year old Will kept mentioning.  At one point we had to tell Will to leave because Sammy and Nelson looked like they were ready to pounce on him. 


Luckily, since we were one of the first ones in the dorm, we were able to find some bunk beds in another room and move those to Sammy’s room and that saved some space.


I could tell Sammy was starting to get tired of all the “why don’t you put this here and that there” advice that everyone was freely dispensing.  He and Nelson hurriedly started shoving boxes under furniture and moving things out of the way and telling us they’d get it all situated later.  To me that was the hint that they wanted us gone.


I did take a little offense at this…I mean I got up before the sun and drove forever to help move him in…and for what “see ya later…bye”? 


But then…FLASHBACK…a “put yourself in his shoes” moment.  I went back to the day I moved into college and remembered I behaved the same way.  I just wanted to get away from the parents, be on my own, get things the way I wanted them, be independent, etc.  So I happily obliged, gave him a hug, told him I loved him and headed out the door…none too soon as it closed right behind us anyway.  Amazing.


And it was over with just like that…the day I had anticipated for months was now over.  No great emotions or sadness or anything really…just “see you later”.  I do think Sammy’s mom was getting a little misty eyed trying to hold it together, and she did a great job.  We all headed downstairs and left.


I did take some time to drive through campus to get my bearings, and then we headed out. 


I did speak to Sammy Saturday night on the phone and he told me how his drumline tryouts went.  He already knew he was on the drumline, he just didn’t know where…he made 4th chair (of 9) snare.  Nelson made last chair cymbals.


That night he told me he and Nelson had gotten everything situated the way they’d wanted and were settling in. 


I’ll be headed back in a couple of weeks with Jack and Will to go check out a football game…or more importantly the band at a game.


In the meantime, check out some of the pictures of their dorm room and the boxes of stuff.

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