Monday, August 27, 2012


The times they are a changin’. I don’t think this will come as much of a surprise to most parents of college kids, unless your child is a Luddite. It took 2 cars to get our son to college. TWO. His Camry was full to the brim, and Pearl (our beloved old rusty mini-van) was 3/4 full as well. I could have squeezed a dog in there somewhere on top of Sam’s foam mattress pad.

TWO loads, people. I would have thought that by junior year, he would have figured out his mother’s motto: Less is more. NOT! My child lives by the Boy Scout code: Be prepared. He was never a Boy Scout.

I went off to college with 2 suitcases, my portable stereo, a box of albums (Dan Fogelberg; Carole King, James Taylor; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Creedence Clearwater Revival; Chicago….) and my Dad’s cast-off Smith-Corona typewriter. Toiletries, a few pictures of family and boyfriend for my desk’s bulletin board, and 4 pairs of shoes. It all fit quite nicely in the trunk of the family car.

I moved myself down to Tampa to attend graduate school at USF with all my earthly belongings (minus winter coats and boots) in the back of a tiny green Chevy Vega. I left 16 months later with a master’s degree and those same belongings. I hadn’t wanted for anything.

My friend Jill got her daughter Kayla (Sam’s good friend ……they must have been comparing notes) back to UN-L needing a truck load and a full van as well. Kayla’s roommate’s mom told Jill they also had a truck load and a car load. When I emailed my brother about my head-shaking over what kids THINK they need at school today, he bested me. “Funny, in the last 2 weeks, I had three truckloads of junk to haul up to Grand Forks for Maddie’s new apt. set up. Every creature comfort known to man. I remember throwing a few bags of junk in my VW and heading off to college.” Chris then wrote the same words I said verbatim to my hubbie: “What’s wrong with this picture??!! 

I could eloquently expand on all the cultural changes that have brought about these new mores of college life, and perhaps bore you with my philosophies about how to get kids to want and need less. I won’t do that. But senior year, I am going to remind our son how his dad went off to college each year. In an old 4-door sedan, carrying not just himself and HIS things, but 2 friends and THEIR things as well. Without anyone complaining or riding on the roof.

We could title Sam's living situation this year: THE FIVE DUTCHMEN AND THE GERMAN/IRISH/SWEDE/CZECH/ENGLISH ODD MAN OUT. 
Note the last names of his roomies!!!

From left: Sam, Tim Bierma, Lee Veldkamp, Sam Verhulst and Zach Jensema
Nate TenBroeke hadn't arrived yet when we were there.

We couldn't be happier about the young men Sam has attached himself to. These 5 guys are smart, studious, godly, fun, sportsy, and easy-going, and they have been great friends since freshman year.

I should have asked each of them how many car loads it took THEM to move back to Dordt....

1 comment:

Cole said...

My husband and I were just talking about this last night. He was looking around the house and comparing it to my old apartment when we were dating and noticed how much more STUFF we have! Part of that is that this is it for us, there is no storing items at anyone else's house for a future date. Part of it is living with two children. To be honest, if someone gave me my dream of moving my family west to be near my sister, I have a running list in my head and I'm pretty sure I could move the four of us in the smallest UHaul they have....great-grandparents dresser, china and dishes passed down from Mom and Grandma, our beds and our clothes...maybe a couch and tv. I'd be set!

When I moved out at 18, it did admittedly take my uncle's truck and my 4-door sedan to move me to Dallas from my tiny little town in KS. :) But, when moving to your first apartment 10 hours away from everything you've known, couch, bed, tv, dishes and clothes seemed pretty necessary. ha!