Son R marched in his first half-time show for his college marching band on Saturday, then attended his first college party later that evening (I loved that he left his car at home, bussed there and took a taxi back). Then he registered for his first classes today. Exciting!
My first day of college was September 29, 1986 and I remember it like it was yesterday. Chris Chandler was quarterback of the UW Huskies (who a week or two earlier had trounced a powerful Ohio State team), and my first class was English 101 at 7:30 AM. I can’t say I’d like to go back to my freshman year of college, but at the time I felt like I had my whole world ahead of me. I really liked my Sophomore and Junior Years in college, probably because I spent too much time on the social part and not enough on the academics. In fact, I was put on academic probation following a 1.8 GPA (I was a 3.95 after my freshman year) which honestly was a miracle it was that high — I had to beg my Essay professor for a D rather than an F after skipping nearly the entire quarter.
Hopefully my son will not follow my example. But I’d tried so hard to be a good kid in a fairly strict and somewhat stressful (busy) household, so honestly just needed to get some things out of my system for a year or two before returning back to my “good” ways. I’ve been pretty mellow, a light drinker/partier and avoided trouble ever since.
I loved high school. My mom and dad were yuppies working their way up the corporate ladder so were fairly high strung, but I loved wearing jeans and tennis shoes to school, hanging out with friends and peers during the day, then returning home in the midafternoon to eat, play basketball and hang out with friends. I was pretty savvy with saving money and liked to work double shifts on weekends so I had the week to just hang out. I need to get back to that again. To simple feelings. To getting to work early, going with the flow, then cutting out on time to hang out at home. How do I get back there? Is it possible? I hope so… It seems like I should be able to manage work so it does not consume my thoughts all the time.
Daughter L had a few books to read and a major essay (i.e. over 7 pages to write) that were assigned over the summer and due before her first class starts today at 7 AM. It is madness that we burn our kids out before they even start the school year. Was she assigned the paper over a month ago? Yes. But we were traveling (she traveled for 3 weeks with our family, plus 3 weeks with a school service trip) plus after taking an AP course last summer and having major assignments due over Winter and Spring breaks last year, she needed a break. Plus, most human beings — especially teens — will procrastinate.
I keep waiting for this age of homework — which is now over 20 years long – to end. We have been reading for years now about how the kids have too much homework, and how that much homework does not increase learning and hampers quality of life. But if anything it gets worse. And this weekend it burned my daughter out before she even starts her first day of school. It is madness.