After nearly nine months of research, applications, admissions and college visits, yesterday my eldest lad confirmed his enrollment at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Although he still has about six weeks left of high school, yesterday was a very emotional day for myself as the realization that my son is about to leave the house for the first time on his own.
Granted he has traveled for school trips where we couldn’t be there and watch him all the time, but the notion of sending your son or daughter off to college nearly half a county away still seams a bit surreal. Given my son’s personality, I know that my son will be absolutely fine making new friends and finding his way around campus and I will be spending the next several months getting him prepared for the next stage of his life, adulthood.
Last night when I returned from Oxford, there was the usual congratulatory messages from family and friends. Yes I answered a few inquiries if this was Miami in Florida, but rest assured it is not. In fact, Miami University was founded in 1809 as compared to the University of Miami in 1925 and although there are not palm trees on the Miami University campus, there is an incredible amount of green space to get lost under a tree or two imagining what life will be like in a short four or so years from now.
When it came down to ultimately picking a university, we were down to two business schools, Purdue’s Krannert School of Management and Miami University’s Farmer School of Business. I couldn’t stop chuckling to myself on campus yesterday as I kept on singing the song for Farmer’s Insurance, “We are Farmer’s, bum bum dum dum dum da dum.” And yes, I received a few glances from people for singing this, but I was really excited for my son to be part of this incredible business school.
Today there are so many opportunities for our children at universities all over the country and world. There are internships, study abroad programs and additional certificates such as the China Business Certificate program at Miami University. Even when we were at Purdue this past Monday, one of the economics professors indicated that a current college student over their career will have somewhere between seven to ten different jobs before they retired; however, three or four of those jobs have yet to be created. In today’s environment, there will be new and emerging positions for our youth today and as long as they apply themselves in college, the opportunities are limitless.
I firmly believe that all children should have the ability to go to a college or university, but I’m not naive enough to understand that not everyone can nor wants to go to a college. For me, the hard part is done. I was able to successfully help my son navigate through his youth, middle school and high school providing all the necessary support and resources available to him. Going forward, it’s all up to him to make his destiny and it will be very exciting to watch how he evolves over the next four or so years.
I can already imagine the day when he is standing in his college cap and gown and I will undoubtedly have the same level of anxiety as I was feeling yesterday when he chose his college. I anticipate that I will be wondering if he will like his graduate school or his job, which ever he chooses to do at that time. And just when I remind myself that he’s still my baby boy, I know it’s time to let him go – yet once again.