Start Over, I Blinked...

Rick Ropelewski |

I always wondered whether my kids’ high school or college years would go by more quickly.  Our visit last month for senior parents’ weekend had me revisiting this question and working through the mental exercise.  One morning Molly and I went to a local coffee establishment, her studying and me catching up on emails.  This has become our thing when we would visit her in DC; a little productivity and some fun banter.  There were two students at the table next to us.  Catching snippets of their conversation they were clearly freshmen; that and the fact that they looked like they were 15.  It seemed like yesterday that Molly and I had our first study/work session when she was a freshman.

Comparing high school and college, and I’m greatly over simplifying this, high school is two years of academics and two years of a college search.  You have the benefit though of still having your child under your roof.  With college you have the Thanksgiving and holiday breaks, but you are competing with the lure of Spring Break and warmer climates with their friends.  While you still have summer breaks you have the challenge of implementing house ground rules they did not have to follow for the last nine months; so there is that learning curve for both child and parent.

So the answer is that both high school and college went by too quickly, with so many memorable milestones along the way.  The freshman year drop off with Molly so nervous.  The excitement each year thereafter as we drove her back to start another year; school becoming more and more her home.  Picking her up at the airport when she came home on breaks.  Her late night Zoom sessions with her roommates as they got ready to start senior year, excited banter as they worked through what they needed for their first apartment.  It all seems like yesterday.

A little outside the high school versus college debate, but don’t get me started on how small Molly looked compared to her backpack as she walked in to her first day of school for kindergarten.