Two weeks ago today, I dropped my son off at college. Going to college sure is different than it used to be.
Ronnie is a freshman at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College down in Tifton. While the school still offers a lot of ag-related majors, it also offers a full range of other majors as well. Ronnie is in engineering.
Maybe all colleges are like this now, but I have only taken one child to college. So my experiences are limited to what I saw at ABAC, where the administration and staff have just done a very good job of incorporating a feeling of small-town friendliness into their campus.
As we pulled into campus loaded down, smiling young people met us, first with big signs welcoming us to campus and then with directions about the unloading process. But before we could unload, there was the actual signing-in with stops for Ronnie to sign papers, pick up his ID and receive his key. With the entire freshman class checking in on the same day, I had a knot in my stomach about how long all this would take, but it actually moved pretty quickly. While the kids had one of their first adult experiences, aka standing in line, the parents were offered a seat in a parent lounge and everybody was offered a Stallion Ice, better known to yall outside the ABAC world as a snow cone.
Key in hand, it was time to view the dorm room. It is called a dorm room but that is not quite accurate since Ronnies room is actually bigger than the first house his father and I had. He and his roommate each have their own bedroom, share a bathroom larger than any bathroom in my current home and have a common area that includes a full-size refrigerator.
Tour over, it was time to move Ronnies stuff, which filled my car and his own truck, up three flights of stairs.
Except, we werent in it alone.
The procedure was simple. Pull your car up in front of the dorm building where volunteers from professors to ABAC students helped you unload and -- here is the important part -- deliver the things to your childs dorm room.
What would have taken us an hour probably just to unload barely took 10 minutes with all the help.
When we realized we need to make a Wal-Mart run, I didnt need my GPS because downstairs at the information desk friendly young people were handing out maps to Wal-Mart. It seems that ABAC really had thought of everything to make the move in less stressful .
But there was one part that even with all their planning they couldnt make easier. As I was leaving, I heard one mom and I promise it wasnt me tell the staff assembled near the front door of dorm in a choked-up voice, Take good care of my baby.
We will, we will, was the reply. You can trust us with your baby.
If their kindness and helpful attitude with just the move in was any indication of how they will look after our babies, I believe them.
Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.