Yesterday was WONDERFUL!
(Not the good-bye part where I fell apart and couldn’t think clearly let alone stop crying ’til I’d reached Truro…but all the other stuff…all the wonderful stuff!)
We arrived at 9:30 and upon entering the university grounds, were greeted by hoards of students dressed in pink chanting and dancing, rolling around in front of the cars, laughing, singing and directing us to where we needed to go.
My oldest’s apprehensions were quickly going…they made it easy.
We registered, were photographed, paid, met the President, picked up a Frosh kit, checked out a few displays and headed off to residence. It was the most organized assembly line, through what could have otherwise been a daunting process, that I’ve ever seen in my entire life…all the while various administrative staff and profs stopped to introduce themselves and ask where you were from, how your day was going, if there were any questions, how you fared through the hurricane…etc. It was welcoming and controlled and as easy as you could possibly imagine! Folks everywhere were smiling, happy and getting the job done while welcoming you to a university they obviously believed in.
We arrived at Cameron Hall to the sounds of cheering, laughter and loud music. Several girls in their purple and orange “residence colors” were moving in. We pulled in front as a hoard of boys gathered all of the cars’ contents and had them in the room in approximately four minutes. My fears of moving the fridge up flights of stairs, convincing my father with his bad heart that I could do it, huffing and puffing and suffering for it later were all for naught! Some husky nineteen year old with frosted tips threw it over his shoulder and had it situated in no time at all! I think he actually ran up the stairs!
We walked into an empty room…and within an hour had it perfectly decorated, a hundred snapshots of friends hung and admired, lighting installed, closet arranged, drawers full, bed raised, containers stashed…everything finding it’s place including the old brown towels! Her new roommate arrived with her Mom and Dad and did the same. Several folks came to introduce themselves and see if anything was needed…did we have any questions…were we settling in. It was easy. Remarkably stress free and…enjoyable.
Mom and Dad took the two youngest to lunch while we settled away a few things that needed to be done…had a moment alone together. We walked around the campus grounds and I was amazed by the number of people who knew my daughter’s name…from sports and dance and years of being her outgoing self…she knew a great many people…all welcoming and happy to see her.
I started to feel a little less apprehensive.
We all joined up again for the “Welcome to X” speeches which near had me crying but at the same time, put me at ease. I was in a place where, by the end of the day, I knew my daughter would be happy and cared for. It was evident from the moment the first student in a cape and pink tights greeted us at the car to the final speech in the auditorium where each of the new students were asked to cross their arms in an X formation…welcoming them to their new “family”.
Back at Cameron Hall we opened the door to a room that only a few hours before looked old and tired and suddenly looked amazing…everything had come together. Roommates who had been strangers that morning had similar tastes and styles…I had a feeling of what was ahead.
We said a few goodbyes…took a few pictures…shed a few tears and headed back to Halifax after an eventful, easy, enjoyable, wonderful day.
I left with a feeling that she was home. Not my home…not with me…not with her brother and sister and family who adored her…but in a place where she’d feel at home. She already did. With Frosh week ahead, the best times of her life in front of her, meeting amazing people who would soon be her lifelong friends…who would encourage her, care for her, accept her as one of their own…she was home.
St. FX was a pretty amazing place. The perfect place…for my pretty amazing girl.