I spent the last 3 days in Boise, ID, with a bunch of incoming freshmen and their parents. We were there for Orientation. I’ve attended college, 2 in fact, and I went to graduate school. What could I possibly need to know about this experience? It wasn’t even my experience. Can’t I just drop him off in August, send care packages every week, and pick him up again in December?
Just like with every other new thing I’ve done, I learned a lot.
I learned that my son can pick excellent restaurants! After a very simple travel afternoon, Dylan guided us to Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery. What do they distill? Gin of course! My kid knows how to take care of his mama.
And on our last night, we indulged in bison burgers and fries. Boise Fry Co., lets you choose your potato (I had purple), the cut, and the sauces. Blueberry ketchup is really good.
Our days were spent listening to Boise faculty and staff. The students heard about all of the opportunities to get involved; the parents got a dose of tough love about how our involvement was going to change. Reality struck when we learned that our students were choosing classes without any input from us.
I learned that some things don’t change. After Dylan got his copy of the course catalog, all he wanted to do was find a quiet corner and study it. He wanted to make the RIGHT decision about every single class. He wanted to take 15 credits so that he could graduate in 4 years. He wanted to make sure that his schedule would accommodate rugby practice. As I’ve done through high school, all I had to do was sit back and wait for the questions. When they didn’t come, because he figured it out himself, I knew that the August drop off would be harder for me than it would be for him.
I learned that when we move out of our comfort zone, good things can happen. While my kid was making friends, I was too. Typically, in these large groups, I find a way to be alone. But for some reason, I took my cue from the students and joined in the experience. I met some wonderful, interesting folks, exchanged contact info and know that we’ll stay connected.
And I remembered that when traveling to new places, the best thing to do is wander. Dylan stayed one night in the dorm, so I had a whole evening to myself. I explored the city a little, then wondered how long it would take to get ‘away’. In about 5 minutes, I found myself in open space, on a dirt road, hiking trails, heaven.
The next night, Dylan and I took a different route and found ourselves at Table Rock.
But maybe the biggest thing I learned is that while Dylan is starting his new adventure, I can start my own.