Saturday, July 14, 2012

War Eagle Launch

I am regrouping after a busy week with the Teen and the Physicist. We've been getting oriented to the Auburn University experience as parents and as an incoming freshman. Last week we drove 3.5 hours to Auburn, Alabama for the Camp War Eagle college orientation. Darling Teen had her own orientation which included an overnight stay in the dorms--that didn't go too well as she had no roommates and was freaked out. The Physicist and I had a Parent Camp orientation which basically meant two days of lectures and talks about the billing, the medical clinic, the move in process, and so on. It was incredibly intense and overwhelming. In addition to that we could break out into small groups and go on tours and attend a mini pep rally. We chose to opt out of the tours as we'd already done two at Auburn. We also skipped the small groups because we wanted to enjoy some down time and decompress a bit. And we skipped one dinner because we wanted to go to a nicer restaurant and eat really yummy food whilst drinking fine wine. So we were definitely slackers in that department.

We took two cars down so Darling Teen could practice the drive with the Physicist riding in the passenger seat. Let me tell you that it is really scary to drive through Birmingham and worry about your daughter making the exits properly and praying you haven't led her astray or into trouble. I had a death grip on the steering wheel. But all went well.

I thought I'd write when I was there. I didn't. I couldn't. There wasn't time! OMG, this college launch is draining. And that's where I am mentally. Drained. Of course, no excuses but there's no point in writing drek only to erase it. And the family needed my total concentration on this event.

The ride home was super awful. We had to stay at Camp War Eagle and on campus till well after 4PM. Then the Physicist drove Darling Teen's car home because she had only gotten two hours of sleep due to freaking out about being totally alone (they were supposed to meet other people in the dorms but she just met the Drain Pipe Ghost) with no electronics. Good thing he drove because we had torrential rains and lightening storms all the way from Cullman to Madison, Alabama. At one point I was unable to see the road in front of me. It was very frightening. Had I not known we were only half an hour from the house, I'd have pulled over and waited it out. The idea of my Darling Teen making this kind of drive with her lack of experience freaks me out. But I have to trust that she'll do okay, right?

And what happened next? Did I get up the next day and write? Nope. I had to go through reams and reams of information that we'd gathered at CWE which was then processed into a binder and a Priority List. There's still lots of shopping and preparations before we send our Teen to college. And here's the worst part: no Physicist to help us. So me and my Teen will do the entire Move In Mania on our own. She'll drive her car behind mine and we'll get it done, but I bet I have white knuckles all the way to Auburn.

Best advice I got? Make multiple copies of the Teen's health insurance card and keep in multiple places because she will lose hers. And she'll need it.

So now the rest of the summer begins. I have major revisions to complete and I'm behind. The Teen is in Washington, D.C. for a week which helps both the Physicist and I prepare for the official launch as well as catch up on our personal/professional duties. Then after she comes home, he goes away for 20 days for work. So it is up to me to handle everything that isn't completed by that time.

Feeling pressure? Yup. I am. I think launching a War Eagle freshman is more painful than giving birth. Seriously. I'd rather have an elephant--triplet elephants--than go through this, but I have to do it.

And then I will be alone. Alone and not ready to go home to face an empty house with no Teen and no Physicist. I'm making plans to make that first few days fun. But only if I can finish these revisions!!

And that's life at the Glover household. Have you ever sent a child to college? What was the experience like? Were you afraid for the child? Lonely afterward? How did you handle all the pressure?


Mary Curry said...

Hi Christine,
I've sent two (and graduated two). Maybe Auburn is different, but for us it wasn't a big deal except for the trip (both 7 hours away but in different directions).

With the first one, she and her roommates communicated about the big items so that 1 brought the TV, 1 brought a refrigerator, 1 brought a microwave, etc.

My husband made lots of lists about things she needed (and there was a separate list because they had a camping orientation on an island off the coast of Maine), but it all went smoothly.

The hardest part was watching two sisters who'd never been apart longer than a few days say goodbye. And the ride home. You might want to preplan a place you can stop and let the tears flow.

Good luck with it all.

Lisa Dunick said...

I've taught Freshman for 11 years now--Trust me, she'll be fine. They usually are. The ones who aren't fine are the ones who have parents who hover too closely and don't let them stand on their own. But yours? After seeing the list of charges you gave her a while back? Yours will do beautifully :O)

Christine said...

Hi Mary: We have our lists and a plan in place. Her roommates and she have communicated about the big ticket items. They are there first so hopefully they can help with our carrying up the stairs. I'm talking to the Teen about it when she gets back from DC.

Hi Lisa: I know she'll be fine. She's a smart girl, but I sure dread her driving to and from college!! Scary. Very very very scary. Now if I could just get a nice burly man to help me lift all that stuff --- someone like Hugh Jackman would be nice :-)

Suzanne Johnson said...

She'll be fine! And I predict that after the first month, she'll totally love it here. If she ever gets overwhelmed tell her to go to the alumni center on South College Street, take the elevator to the attic, and ask for me! (Yes, I work in the attic. Don't even ask.)

Christine said...

Hi Suzanne: The attic? I have to know!! I will ask at the meeting at the end of July. She'll be fine when we get her moved in and I know she's super excited about the College of Science & Mathematics COSAM rocks ... so that's all great. It's just the actual move in day that I am dreading. And that drive!

I will have to connect with you in Auburn when I come down to visit her.