Today I visited a college with a student of mine…one I find to be among the quirkiest and coolest of kids I’ve ever taught. She’s found herself a little at a loss for where exactly she might like to go for college. I suggested Wofford. She was interested enough to agree to a quick day trip.
We set out this morning – a dreary, wet, cold, windy morning – to see what Wofford would be like. After a 1.5 hour delay (due to my idiocy), we finally arrived on campus. She was wowed by its grandeur and beauty.
Now, I’m not a graduate of Wofford. My brother is. In fact, my brother was the Charles E. Daniel scholarship recipient and the Presidential Scholar his senior year. As we introduced ourselves on campus, all I had to do was drop his name and people would say, “Oh yes! He’s so smart! He’s a wonderful guy.”
I was proud. More than proud. And then I was wistful. At some point during the day, I found myself so enraptured with what we were being told. I found myself almost lost in the idea that I would be attending Wofford in the fall. And I found myself wishing.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my life these days. I’m so blessed and so loved, but sometimes, I find myself wondering, “What if?” What if I hadn’t just “settled” for community college? What if I had chosen to stay in Texas, live with a friend my senior year, and go to a TX college? What if I had majored in Communications instead?
So while my student was hearing words and phrases and ideas that weren’t yet in her vocabulary, here I was twice removed from the college scene wishing I was the one starting anew. I want to live in a dorm – something I never had the chance to do. I want to rush a sorority, be forced to do my laundry on campus, live for the Friday night movies, suffer from cafeteria food.
My college years were filled with working a part-time job and scheduling my college courses around the hours I was given at work. I didn’t have much of the traditional college experience, and I can’t help but be a tad jealous of those who have had the chance or are going to have a chance to know the pain and anguish of meeting a new roommate or missing mom and dad.
My student was confused and lost for a portion of the day; she was unsure of the questions she should ask and the pieces of information she should take away from the excursion. But I was wildly aware of all the opportunities open to her.
Recently, I have found myself frustrated with this adult side of life. So, I’m making a wish. I wish that I could return – go back 13 years and start anew. But I still want all my knowledge and my savvy.