We moved our younger daughter into UMass Amherst one week ago, and I am happy to see she is making new friends and adjusting to college life. Although she isn't texting or calling as much as I wish she would, I know she's finding her independence and making her way. She has shared a few fun pics with new friends, which puts a big smile on my face and has decided to get involved in a Hispanic-Business RAP, which puts her on a dorm floor with other business majors who share a Spanish background. Very cool and very diverse...I love it. UMass Amherst is a big school that I can imagine can be very overwhelming to most newbies. Coming from a small town of less than 6,000, the UMass campus is bigger than our entire community. Like most freshmen, I am sure she experienced the normal nervousness associated with leaving home, fitting in and thriving in a new place, and opening herself up to making new and trusting friendships. I know it's all a part of growing up, but it's still scary.
During our two hour drive to campus and while moving her in, my mind drifted to these past eighteen years and how they go by so fast. I reflected on so many important moments...Bachelor nights (just kidding), birthdays, friendships, becoming proficient at guitar, basketball and softball, high school theater, and her singing the National Anthem at sporting events. In addition to being an incredible musician, my daughter is a natural athlete who made some kick ass catches as an outfielder for her high school softball team. She's had so many achievements during her high school career and has so much more to offer. I cannot wait to see what she contributes during college. She mentioned that she's looking into Habitat for Humanity, a business club, intramural basketball, and maybe hiking...all get a big thumbs up from me.
While I was cleaning her dorm room and taking the extra time to refold clothes and put them away neatly, I hoped to create some order and organization in her new home. I've told her that a clean room is a clean mind, and I want her to be able to think clearly...without cobwebs in her head. By the time we were finished moving the furniture around, making the bed, and setting up the television, her room was a welcoming and cozy place. Pictures of family and friends hang from the walls on little lights, her sister's old chair is in the corner, and new memories are waiting to get made.
Before leaving and heading home, our daughter treated us to lunch at the award winning Berkshire dining hall. Let me just say that this school's dining is no joke..hand rolled sushi, grilled chicken breasts, stir fry, fish, fresh grilled vegetables, dessert...you name it, and they have it. I now understand why my older son, also a graduate from UMass, complains about my cooking and lack of selection in the kitchen! That damn school spoiled him rotten! So...while most kids complain about campus food, that clearly won't be the case here.
New experiences and opportunities are up for grabs. The world is her oyster, and I hope she embraces it with an open mind and open arms. The Isenberg School of Business has a remarkable reputation, and she is excited to be a part of this prestigious school. She's worked hard throughout high school, on and off the sports field, has an incredible work ethic, and it's her time to shine. If there's one thing I'm certain of, it's that not only is my daughter going to be eating well this year, but she's going to be getting an excellent education from a top notch business school.