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Monday, October 03, 2011

The weight of expectations

This Saturday was spent ferrying my two children to university. For my son, it was a return to where he'd spent his first year after spending his second year abroad. I was used to him going. He is an adult.
For my daughter, this is her first year at university. She has chosen to go where her father went, where I went as a JYA and met her father and where her brother goes. She is in a different college and studying a different subject.
My daughter also pointed out that not only did her mother go to university (Carleton and Lancaster) but my mother went (Vassar) and my mother's mother also went (University of Minnesota). I believe both my maternal great grandmothers went to finishing school/teaching college. Education is a big deal on that side of the family. I know at least one of my paternal great grandmothers went to college (Converse) the same as her mother before her. My paternal grandmother went to USC. My other paternal great grandmother went to music college and was for a time a concert pianist. Going further back,  I am less certain. While my daughter was waiting for her results, she kept thinking about this and worrying.
I told her that it didn't matter. For one thing, my husband was the first person in his family to go to university. For another, although I loved going to university and really believe in the concept of a liberal arts education, I do know that other people have different routes to success. It is about what you do with your choices.
Now, having got the trauma of parting behind us, I am looking forward to hearing about her adventures. I hope she finds it as wonderfully exciting as I did. The opportunities are there but you have to reach out and grasp them. University has so much to offer.
My daughter has already decided that she isn't sporty and won't be trying out for any teams. I don't think she even owns a pair of trainers. She is going to be going on a trip to the Lakes instead which the Student Union has organised. Very sensible. She marches to the beat of her own drum and has always done.
My only expectation for her and for my two boys is that they work hard and make the most of it. Then years later they can look back on the time with great fondness rather than regret.

4 comments:

Nell Dixon said...

Hugs, I know you'll miss them. I'm sure they'll do well and have a wonderful time. In my family I was the first to go to Uni and it was as an adult for 1 year, my brother did his degree through open university. At the end of the day as parents I think all we care about is that they stay out of trouble, can make a living, be healthy and are happy in what they do.

Caroline said...

Like Nell says. Hugs. I know my parents' missed me very much when I went away to Uni. I, on the other hand, was far too busy enjoying myself ;o). Caroline x

Liz Fielding said...

And hugs again from me. And that non=sporty thing? My dd was the non-sportiest girl in the school (they wouldn't allow her to play cricket so why bother?) and ended up on the winning Uni Basketball plate team. (She hasn't bothered with anything since!)

I hope your dd has a wonderful time.

Michelle Styles said...

It is good to know that others are non sporty Liz. My daughter did point out that as her room is on the fourth floor and most of her lectures are on other end of campus, she should get really fit. She also discovered that standing for five hours in heels is uncomfortable.
She is very busy enjoying herself and learning the ropes.