Ushering in the New Year With College Freshmen

Our family ushered in the New Year last night with our annual over-the-top holiday party.

I haven’t counted up how many came, but it’s got to be over 80 people. My mega pot of George’s at the Cove’s signature soup is gone and so is the Corn, Red Pepper Leek Soup. The appetizer that vanished first was the Mini Asian Crab Cakes, which I’d highly recommend for any cocktail party. The Hello Dolly cookies are kapput, but I’m relieved that some of my favorite Spritz cookies made it to 2011.

One of the best parts of the party, however, was a conversation that I had with my son after everyone had left. Ben shared some thoughtful observations about his relationship with his old high school friends, who reunited at our party, and his new college friends back in Wisconsin.

I won’t share what he said, but what struck me was the sort of maturity he exhibited that wasn’t there when he left for college in mid August. I wrote a blog post at that time that quoted the dean of students at Beloit College, where Ben attends school, who promised the parents of the incoming freshmen that they would see changes when their children returned home in December. Here is that post:

Saying Goodbye to Ben

My husband, daughter and I have seen positive changes in Ben. He’s still a slob and too lazy, but on the plus side he’s a more multi-dimensional young man than when he left just a few months ago. With one semester under his belt, Ben has also shown that he can buckle down and handle challenging college work.

Other parents at the party commented about how their freshmen had transitioned to college. Most of them are adjusting just fine and I can only hope that this continues for all of them in 2011!

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller and a workbook, Shrinking the Cost of College: 152 Ways to Cut the Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree. Follow her on Twitter.

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