Samantha and I spent Saturday at CNU for admitted freshman day. For several weeks. Sam has been connecting with people on the Facebook page set up for the Class of 2017. She found one girl with whom she thought she might room. I suggested that maybe she would want to meet this person IN person before she decided. In case, you know, the girl couldn’t carry on a conversation in person or was a real weirdo or something. Samantha looked at me like I was a clueless, out of touch, dinosaur.
After the kick off part of the day, the students headed off in groups to do a scavenger hunt and get to know the campus and each other. Samantha and the girls from Facebook arranged to meet up during this time. I sat in the parent session feeling overwhelmed and excited and a little sad about my oldest child heading off to college. Also, I felt some jealousy. Wouldn’t it be great to be back in college again dedicated only to learning and exploring and having fun?!
The speakers were amazing. Such smart suggestions and clear expectations of the students. There was a student panel where current CNU students shared their experiences, advice and even regrets. I wanted to whip out a pen and paper and take notes, but instead I texted Dave all the important details that I didn’t want to forget. CNU is a wonderful place. I am so proud of Samantha for finding the perfect fit school for herself. The academics are first rate, the campus is beautiful, the dorms are ridiculously nice, and there is such a community of caring committed to helping your child achieve success. Without Samantha there to give me “the eye”, I asked a question during the Q&A. It had to do with finding a roommate (I mentioned Samantha had been looking online) and whether it was important to room with someone in your same field of interest or program like honors or leadership, since they had talked about living within your “Learning Community”.
The session ended and a lady approached me and asked who my daughter was because her daughter had also been networking on FB. We figured out that Samantha and her daughter, Kirsten, were two of the five girls meeting up. We continued to chat on our way to the picnic lunch about all manner of things. Kids, where we live, what we do, the usual. We found that we had lot of things in common and got along really well. Somehow the conversation turned to having cars on campus as a freshman. I told her that we were going to let Samantha bring her car mostly because I knew she wouldn’t leave every weekend, that she would get involved in lots of activities at school and that her dad was sick so I wanted her to have the option to be able to come home if the need arose. Turns out that Jennifer’s husband has Stage IV bladder cancer. We were both stunned when we realized HOW much we have in common. We talked about treatment and prognosis and challenges and perspectives. It was incredible to speak to someone who literally knew exactly what I was going through.
Jennifer’s cell phone rang as her daughter was looking for her. She was with Samantha and both girls were surprised that the moms had connected and were hanging out together as well. After we finished lunch, we went on a tour of the dorms. (You cannot imagine how nice they are. Freshman live suite style and by sophomore year you have a kitchen and living room too!) Jennifer told her daughter about our uncommon thing in common. Along the way, Kirsten talked to Samantha about it. On the drive home, Samantha said that it was so nice to have someone to talk to who understood. I couldn’t agree more. Even before the cancer connection, the girls had decided that they had found someone with whom to venture into college life, and I am so happy they did. As Jennifer emailed me later, “Obviously not what any of us want to have in common, but how amazing yet no coincidence that we now know each other.” I couldn’t agree more.