Yesterday I had the honor of helping my little brother move into college. He chose my Alma Mater, Kentucky Wesleyan College, so to say I was excited for him is a big understatement.
Jarrett and I are 17 years apart in age. We have different Moms and grew up in different circumstances, but yet we get each other. It must have something to do with being the youngest sibling.
Chaz and I have really enjoyed getting to know my little brother. We are extremely proud of the young man he has become. Over the past two years, Jarrett not only finished high school, played football and held a job, he also became an Eagle Scout. He now has made plans to join the Marines after he plays four years of football and gets a degree from KWC. He has a very bright future in front of him and we are excited to watch him grow.
When he invited me to help him with college decisions a few years ago, I jumped at the chance. I wish I would have had someone to walk me through it all. I was the first one in our family to "run off to college" so I was the one with a few "this is how I did it" lessons for him. A few weeks ago when he invited me to help him move in, I attempted to take the day off (this is really a ha-ha moment, I never get a day off and didn't yesterday either) and got myself to Owensboro to help.
As I walked up to the student life center, I saw a "Welcome Class of 2018" sign. It was then I realized that 17 years ago I was the new student moving in. I instantly remembered how I felt that day. One big difference, I was so stubborn I moved to college alone. I would not let my Mom and Step Dad take off work to move me in, I didn't want them to have to take time off for me. Instead I loaded up my essential items that would get me through until they were off for the weekend, and I drove myself to my dorm on a beautiful day in August 1997. My little brother was shocked, for about a moment, to learn I did it all alone. Although I would do it all over again, I wanted my brother to know he had our support in this new exciting transition he was beginning.
The transition to college is intimidating. I remember it so well. There's this moment when the gravity falls on you and you realize you are 18 now and you have to figure it all out. Jarrett has had that moment more than once just like we all do. And while I know he knows we are here for him, it will never hurt to give him that reassurance.
Yesterday was all about Jarrett, but I couldn't help but reflect and share with him the impact KWC had on my life while I was there. KWC helped to develop me into the adult I am today. I arrived at that campus as an angry, selfish, immature, ignorant, arrogant, self-absorbed 18 year old. (But as I always say find me a teenager that doesn't possess at least a few of those traits as well.) I left as an educated, happy, blessed, well-rounded, mature adult. I am still arrogant, but I blame my DNA on that one and I wonder if that can be fixed, ha!
I grew up in a small town and KWC showed me the world I knew nothing about. I give most of the credit to my Academic Adviser, Dr Conroy, who I was blessed with seeing yesterday. He and I even chatted yesterday about the person I was when I arrived and who I became when I graduated. He dared me to be better. He challenged me to be a better writer, speaker and a better citizen. I will always be so very thankful for how much Conroy invested in my life. He is still there and so are a few other people that impacted my life.
The Dean of Student Life, Dean Kramer, is still there. I am so glad Jarrett will get to know Kramer. He graduated KWC and stayed there to pass on so many lessons to the future students of KWC. Kramer taught me that you have have an education and a life while you are in college. That was an important lesson to apply to college life and to the real world for the rest of your life. He is an absolutely perfect fit for his job and I was thrilled to learn he is still there blessing the KWC students.
On my ride home, I realized so much happened to me in my short 3 1/2 years at KWC. I met my BFF there. I dated my husband and became engaged before my Senior Year at KWC. I graduated and used my maiden name for the last time there. I adopted our 14 year old cat, Callee, there (Sorry Dean Kramer). I learned so many extremely valuable lessons about life there. And perhaps most importantly I made some amazing friends and KD sisters that I will always remember while I was there.
I am so excited that my brother is going to KWC. I know that his journey there will be as great as mine. And the best news is that big sister has spies all around him....Bahaha!! Just kidding....