Life for our collegeman has been pretty quiet these last few weeks. He has slept till midday. He did simple chores in the house. He stayed up all night watching TV and he ate like a pig. In fact, I have not seen anyone eat so much and yet remain so skinny. If we found a way to harness the power of a young male’s metabolism we could probably solve the energy crisis. But in the past few days, he has gotten nervous. The new semester starts on Monday and he is already feeling stressed. It’s transition time.
It started with ordering his books. He had trouble with the website and called the bookstore. Of course they don’t take orders over the phone and it wasn’t their fault that the password function on their website was messed up. (OKAY???) So we had to create a new account with a new password. He then ordered his books. Not a science class in the lot. I still had to contemplate a second mortgage to buy them. He went with his life skills coach to pick them up and get back to hanging out at school for lunch. He was so nervous he didn’t talk to any other students in the cafeteria. Basically picked up his books and came home. Cranky doesn’t even begin to describe him at this moment.
Then there is the sophomore portfolio. It’s basically an outline of the student’s program of study for the next two years, created by the student. It includes potential class choices and two essays about their purpose of study. I had never seen anything like this before, but I think it’s actually a good thing. Getting the student to actually understand and figure out what they want from their education. Not a bad idea really. I really don’t want to hear two years from now, after four years of undergraduate. Not enough credits in a major to graduate. (Talk about a parental aneurysm.) A plan is a great way to go. No he did not work on it alone. His present advisor has met with him several times to organize and help him with the project. Though the whole thing just adds stress to his life and he gets anxious every time it is mentioned. Today he is supposed to rewrite the essays. Write and edit, write and edit. That is the motto. I can tell you that he will come out of college with a wonderful liberal arts background. Able to write and understand anything he reads. He will be able to analyze, compartmentalize and dissect language, which is good since he wants to be a lawyer. I hope the process to get there is worth it.
But cranky he is today. The interesting thing is he doesn’t even know that he is being cranky. I try to point it out and he just won’t see it. I don’t think he is in a frame of mind to see it. But it is just one of the behavior issues that the coaches will have to work on with him again, this semester. Repetition, repetition, repetition.
Remember when your mother used to say she felt like a broken record. I guess today we would say that we feel like a broken CD or even a broken iPod. Time to see the therapist and implement stress reduction techniques. None of which have worked yet, by the way. But maybe if collegeman has really accepted ownership of his stress issue they will finally do him some good. I sure hope so, for his sake.
In the meantime, he is supposed to work on his essays. Organize his books. Organize his draws. Organize his supplies. Organize his calendar. Organize himself for the next semester. He is already talking about working ahead, so he doesn’t feel overwhelmed during finals like last semester. I hope something clicks for him. I can actually see the pain on face when he begins to rev himself up for what’s to come. Therapy, coaches, support, exercise, doctors; something has got to give for this young man. It’s time.
Until next time,