With Nick getting ready to go off to college it got me thinking where I was at his age.
Soon after I graduated from high school, I moved out of my childhood home and into Joe’s parent’s home. They have always been very supportive of me and with my parent’s separating I needed to make a change. College was never an “if” for me, it was a “when.” At the time I wanted to be a Physical Therapist, so the University of Puget Sound was my college of choice. They had the best PT program around and I had planned for years, getting all the pre-qualifications to apply to the program a year early. I was paying for this myself and needed to finish in 4 years! I was one of only 3 freshman to be accepted. I was so happy. My hard work had paid off. The first year was rough though. I was working part time and going to school full time with a load I wouldn’t recommend to anyone – Calculus, Physics, Chemistry and English, then Anatomy and Physiology in the summer session. Brutal and soon to be detrimental to me. I received my first C from Anatomy and Physiology and received the horrible letter in the mail that I was being dropped from the program. I was devastated and humiliated. I told everyone that I changed my major on my own. I didn’t fight it, I just moved forward. I felt like such a failure. College was lonely for me and I often just felt scared. I continued through school borrowing against credit card after credit card, did side jobs, worked part time at the school and at the zoo and after 4 years I graduated with a major in Marketing and a minor in Creative Writing. During those 4 years I racked up tons of debt on credit cards and $55,000 in school loans. It took me 12 years to pay it all back! Many look back at their college days with fond memories. I look back and think, I would never want to do that again. I am better for having gone through it though.
That is far from where Nick is. He’s going off to WSU with many friends, will be living in the dorms at first and hopes to be part of a fraternity in the future. He’s happy, has a family that loves and supports him and he can count on us to help him through this journey! He plans on getting a job on campus to help with expenses and is thinking about majoring in Environmental Science, but is still thinking it over. We are so excited for him and can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us all. I know it will be hard – emotionally and financially, but I know it will be wonderful at the same time. I already have care packages all plannedand can’t wait to hear about his daily life on campus!
The other day a couple of his best friends got together and we did some final photographs at Stadium High School, wearing their university sweatshirts. Nick and Andrew are off to WSU, Drew off to Hawaii. The start of a new adventure for these guys and I am excited for them all and for me… I get to experience a different part of college life now and for that I am forever grateful. We have raised a smart, funny, well adjusted, God loving kid, who cares about his family, friends and the world around him. He’s going to do great things in this world. I just know it!