On Monday we moved Chelsea to her new apartment, which was the exact same day that all other 3,852,087 students decided to move into the same building...at the exact same time....including Chelsea's new roommate "M".
Ok, I kid, there really weren't 3 million there, but when you have trailers, pickups, u-hauls, and cars filled to the brim covering every square inch of the street, parking lots and grass, it feels like the entire planet is crammed right there.
Our daughters are very social and through 4-H, FFA, and the past year of college, they have gotten to know kids from all over. I lost count of how many times Chelsea would let out a squeal or a loud "Oh my gosh!" and she'd take off running because she spotted someone she knew and just had to give them a hug immediately. I finally told her to just point the people out, I'll squeal and give them hugs and that way she can continue carrying boxes. :)
It was a beautiful day and no rain, which made the time go smoother. Plus, they have a ground floor apartment, so we were able to bring things in through the patio doors, which was nice.
Speaking of patio doors - did you have those in your first apartment? I know I sure didn't! Apartments are so much nicer now than they used to be. My entire first apartment was the size of Chelsea's living room. I could eat at my table, put my feet up on my couch, watch tv, and shave my legs in the shower all from the same spot in the 4' square room. Chelsea and M each have their own bedroom and their own bathroom as well. They each have a huge closet in their room, as well as having a utility closet (for vacuum, broom, etc), a big linen closet with floor to ceiling shelves, and a big coat closet right by their front door.
They even have a dishwasher and central air conditioning! Seriously, what college student NEEDS to have a dishwasher. Isn't part of the fun of learning is finding out what you can actually eat off paper plates, and what you can't? And isn't sweating to death in your room part of the growing up process? And don't get me started on the included cable and wireless internet.
We were concerned about the cost of the apartment and whether she could handle that much responsibility, but because it's on the edge of town and away from campus, it's up to 50% for rent and utilities than it is closer to campus, which is why she and her roommate chose this part of town. The city bus route that goes to every part of campus stops right at the end of her street, so they've been checking out the bus routes to find the best way to get to and from their classes. hhhmmm...guess she really has grown up and checked out everything.
When we were done moving the boxes in, Jay & Austin went back home, and I took Chelsea and M shopping for cleaning supplies and a few other odds and ends they were in need of (extension cords, those sticky things that hold up pictures without putting holes in the walls, etc). I watched moms with their sons or daughters who were obviously new Freshmen and they were going through these unchartered waters of the home furnishings department, and I remembered so vividly feeling the knots that were mostly likely in their stomachs right then.
I listened to moms tell their sons "Ok, we need to get you this item or that item, and the sons would be saying "for what?" and then mom proceeded to explain what a certain kitchen item was. The students had the "deer in the headlights" look, while the moms stayed focused on the list, so they wouldn't have to think about what was happening.
I couldn't help but smile as I watched them all zip back and forth through the maze of aisles trying to remember everything they knew they would probably forget. I can't believe that this was me a year ago. Feeling so overwhelmed at the task of getting two ready for college the first time. Wondering if my budget and my heart could take it all. Wondering if we'd all survive the transition, and wondering if the distance would pull us apart, which I now know did the opposite.
So if you were one of those moms I saw yesterday, hang in there. Trust me when I say I know how hard it is, and I have to admit, it's going to get harder. But if I can make it through, anyone can, and then next year you will find yourself standing in the rubbermaid section at Target with a grin as you watch the next batch of newbies come through.