August 19th, 2017
by Terri Libenson
I just took my older daughter to my alma mater, and it all came flooding back. I was just there! Yeah, okay, 25 years ago, but still…
So here’s the story. My daughter is a high school senior and is actively looking at schools. We took a road trip to see if my college was someplace she’d like to apply to. The evening before our official tour and info session, we drove by the campus. I was marveling at both the familiarity of the old and the novelty of the new (mainly dorm buildings). Finally, we came upon my old home away from home — the fine arts building.
It’s a good thing the campus was deserted, because I had a total and complete freakout. First, I emitted some kind of high-pitched scream that only dolphins can hear. Then I pulled over, jumped out of the car, and forced my daughter to take a gazillion photos of me in front of the building. She probably thought my body had been abducted by an embarrassing alien. This is the power of nostalgia. You may not know you have it until it’s too late.
I remained (mostly) calm the next day during the actual tour. I only regaled the tour guide with 300 or so anecdotes from the ’90s. When all was said and done, we enjoyed the tour, got the answers we needed, and I happily dragged my kid to a bunch of city bookstores to sign some (shameless plug) INVISIBLE EMMIE books. Oh yeah, I also got even drunker on nostalgia by meeting up with old friends. It was EPIC — a word, btw, you should never utter in front of your teenager.
Since then, my daughter’s toured many more schools. She has yet to sort through her thoughts and narrow down her list, but I must say we had a pleasant bonding experience on that trip. My husband was tasked with the majority of school visits, as he had more vacation days. His experiences were similar: pleasant, informative, and great bonding time.
I’m no fool…I know the hardest part is yet to come: the applications, the deadlines, the acceptances/rejections. But at least my daughter got the physical sense of where she feels she’d fit in. And that’s huge.
I write about six months ahead. That means in about two months, I’ll hold Amy’s future in my hands…where she will ultimately get accepted to college and where she’ll decide to go. As a parent, I wish I had that power for my flesh and blood child, but I don’t. So I’ll take it wherever I can.
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