Selecting Dorms and Letting Go

University of Texas Longhorns

My daughter and I went to Austin Friday to look at the University of Texas. She was recently accepted into their Studio Art Program. (Yay–I am so proud!) Friday we looked at dormitories and Saturday we went to Open House at the Fine Arts Building.

So when it comes to picking dormitories, my daughter and I differ on what is important. She liked the feel of the biggest dormitory that housed 3,000 students. It felt like an airport concourse, with fast food and shops on the first floor. There were people break dancing, people playing music, people studying…you name it. It was alive. It had energy. She could overlook the fact that it was run down and stunk.

I preferred the dorm that was clean and less busy, with a private or shared bathroom as opposed to the community bath. These dorms are mostly coed with guys and girls sharing floors, though they have separate community bathrooms. I know she liked the energy of the big one, but I think after awhile, she will get tired of the noise and energy and will want a quiet place to retreat.

So what are we going to do? Compromise, of course! While I don’t like the coed dorms, the only women’s dorm is on the opposite side of the campus…and this campus is 40 acres big. (Yes, my legs and hips STILL hurt from all the walking this weekend!) There are 3 smaller dorms near the big one she likes, so we are looking into those. They are coed, but are smaller, only housing 200-300. It still makes me nervous though.

There comes a time when you have to let go. You have to trust that you have done your best in raising your child and they know right from wrong and will follow in the path you have set them upon. One day they leave and their life is out of your protective hands.

It reminded me of writing our stories. We can hang on to them, editing them, perfecting them, making them shine, but we have to let them go at some point, trusting that God will direct them in the way they should go. Of course, our stories don’t have a will of their own, but we still have to entrust them to God and let Him make our work flourish. He is the one that establishes the work of our hands.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17

11 responses to “Selecting Dorms and Letting Go”

  1. It's a very exciting and scary time. Before you know it, first year jitters will be behind you. The Eldest graduates this May and The Young One is already 3/4 through her Freshman year. And I vote for the small dorm and shared bathroom. Sharing the bathroom with 3,000 people definitely not a Little Princess thing to do. (-;


  2. Hi Sherrinda – We went this weekend and toured the University of North Dakota where my son has been accepted into the computer science program and will be attending in the fall. I'm sure UND is significantly smaller than Univ of Texas (but it's still pretty darn big), but the temp was below zero as we strolled around campus and listened to our student tour guide chatting about all the services on campus. We nearly froze to death! (and I'm sore too!). We toured dorms, too, and I feel the same way you do about smaller, less crazy dorm. Thankfully, so does my son. He's a real homebody and would prefer peace and quiet to chaos any day. And he signed up with a friend of his to be roommates, so at least he won't have to live with a stranger.

    I'm having a hard time with the letting go thing. I know he's a good man and he'll be fine after some adjustment, I'm just selfish and I'll miss him!


  3. You drew a great analogy from this experience, Sherrinda. God is the only one who cam make our stories, and us, truly successful.


  4. Letting go of our stories and our children can be difficult. I've done both recently, and what I've learned is that it gets easier with time. Oh, and that there may well be tears.

    I wept every time Gwynly and I drove away from our one and only's college campus during the first year. We're well into the second year, and I'm able to keep the tears at bay, in large part because I'm delighted to see how well she's doing.

    May the transition with your daughter go smoothly, Sherrinda, and may any tears you shed soon be replaced with smiles.


  5. Oh Sherrinda! I wish I had known you were in my neighborhood! I'm praying for you and your family, just thinking about bundling my babies up and sending them out into the world gives me goosebumps:)


  6. Sage advice, Sherrinda – for both our stories and our children!


  7. CJ, my daughter is my princess and I just don't think she will be anything but MY princess. I hate to think of her in a dorm full of boys and girls. But…I have to trust in God and leave her in His hands.

    Mara, I cannot imagine touring a campus in that frigid weather! You are a brave soul, girl! And guess what! My daughter came home saying that after she prayed about it, she had this peace come over her about being in a smaller dorm! Praise God! It was definitely an answered prayer of mine! She ended up choosing the smallest dorm on campus! Imagine that!


  8. Jeanette, thanks. I know God is the one and only and His plan will unfold in His time.

    Keli, thank you friend. You are so wise and I love your encouraging words. I know there will be tears and I'm good with that. She is worth it all. 🙂

    Katie, I don't know about sage, but I do know that my experience sometimes gives me something to say. 🙂


  9. hello Everyone,

    Most of you are experienced writers yourself, I am a newbie and intend to make it big one day.

    I am working on my first work these days and started blogging too.

    I am hosting a Flash Fiction Challenge on my blog. Please do visit the same and take part in it. The link is here

    And dear Sherrinda, sorry that I am using your comments space to tell about this contest. Just want to reach out authors and writers.

    with warm regards
    Abhishek Boinapalli


  10. Hi Sherrinda,
    Leaving my eldest behind at college was the hardest thing I had to do – until it was time to leave my baby behind at her college. *sigh*
    Ironically, they're both back living at home now and I couldn't be happier.

    I'll pray for all of you having to make these dorm decisions. Both of my daughters had unhappy freshman dorm experiences but they learned from them and grew as people.


  11. Sherrinda, taking my son to college was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. My heart cried out as we drove away, “No, go back! He's not ready!”

    Actually, he was more than ready, but I wasn't. I wanted to hold him longer. I wanted to remember the little boy. Now I see him as a wonderful man.

    Sending your daughter off to college won't be easy, but both of you will get through it. God watches over them when we can't. My son's first dorm was co-ed and they didn't have problems.

    I didn't have the same sense of panic when I released my story. I did that with peace, knowing I did the absolute best I could. And now I'm so thankful for God's favor on my words. I'm trekking down a new path as a debut author. Now *that* is almost as scary as taking my son to college. 🙂


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