Thursday, August 20, 2015

College Quilt

My little girl is growing up!  We made the big college move yesterday. However, after making her bed and putting up a few decorations, she was ready for me to leave. What? Already?  My baby doesn’t need me anymore (except to pay the bills, I guess). This move is a big transition for both of us, not just for her. It was a totally stressful time this past week as she procrastinated then packed in a huge flurry of activity. At least I already had her sheets and towels washed and packed up, plus cleaning supplies and various odds and ends.  I also finished up her ‘College Quilt’ and she snuggled in it the night before her move. She loved it!

Dorm rooms have changed significantly in the new millennium. Each room or suite has its own bathroom. She has a unit with one roommate and they have their own bathroom with a shower. The two-sink area is just outside the bathroom door and each girl has their own closet. Storage is about the same, just four drawers plus a desk with its own drawers. So most kids find ways to maximize the empty area under their beds. Clear plastic tubs were a great choice for us. She is able to see what is inside, plus use them for under bed storage. One kid lifted his bed to almost top bunk level so he could fit plastic three-drawer units underneath. That will work only until the first time he gets drunk and tries to crawl in bed. Ha!
One of the best things I did was to compare prices and order some of her books from Amazon, then ordered the rest online with her college bookstore. It’s amazing how the used book market was so well established.  Then again, I deprived her of the “fun” of waiting in those long lines at the bookstore. Ah, those rites of passage. Maybe she will get that chance when she sells back the used books.

The night before her move, my daughter was a big sobbing mess. She was so nervous and worried about school and about leaving home behind.  I sat down and asked her to list her concerns then we could address them one by one. One of her concerns was if Home would still be the same. I told her that we were gutting her room and turning it into a quilting studio. At her shocked look, I laughed and told her that I would simply close the door and leave everything the same. (Ugh, I didn’t want to walk in to that mess anyway!). Concern addressed.

She was also worried  about her class schedule. She wondered if she would have to walk all the way across campus within 10 minutes between two of her classes. Every student worries about that!  I pulled out the campus map and we checked where each building was in relation to her dorm and dining hall. Her classes were in adjacent buildings, so no worries there.  I also suggested she walk through her schedule a couple times to make sure she knew where everything was.  Just like she did in high school. Concern addressed.

We talked through her worry list one by one. This was a valuable life lesson for her. If worries pile up, make a list and plan how to address each one. You may need to prioritize them. But it’s easier to deal with the worries one-by-one than to let them fester. Worries grow into big thunderstorms of stress if you don’t find a way to deal with them.

Anyway, back to the big move-in. Her college housing association had it all nicely organized. You pull your car into a close parking spot, unload then move your car to a farther lot. Post-it notes with your room number are placed on every box. Older students carry your things up to your room while you check in to get your key. It was so fast and smooth!

We arrived about 30 minutes before my daughter’s roommate, so we had time to organize and unpack a bit before the room filled up with boxes again. That’s about when my daughter wanted me to go, way before I was ready go. Oh well. On the drive home, I turned on an oldies station and sang along to make the trip enjoyable. 

Then I came home to an empty house. An empty, very peaceful house.  I poured a glass of wine and began texting my daughter. So, what did you do after I left? Did you remember to get your mailbox key?  Mom, where are my hangars? Mom, where are my headphones?  Ah, she is gone but definitely not forgotten.

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