It was nostalgic to be at Babson on Friday welcoming new families at the family orientation desk. I remember the first day my son Zann went to Babson. Like all other parents I had many thoughts… will he get enough food, will he manage his time wisely, will he get into any bad habits, is he getting too much independence, will he stay focused, will he stay connected? I am sure everyone feels some level of anxiety when dropping their kids off to college. Since I was only dropping him a mile down the road I figured I would be okay, however, it was far from the truth. Dropping your child at the dorm for the first time can make anyone emotional, including me.
Every year, I volunteer at the Babson orientation because I remember that feeling. I want to be able to provide support and ease any anxieties for the families who perhaps may be dropping their kids off from the next town over or across the world. That parental feeling stays the same irrespective of the distance traveled to drop the kids.
This past Friday a family at the orientation was very anxious, especially the mother. I reassured her that her son is in a good place and validated her feelings. I know, I was there a few years ago. I let her know that Babson is a community and that her son will be well taken care of. Not only will he be getting a world class education,but speaking from experience, Babson will also make a man out of him.
About two hours later I saw the same family and this time the mom was smiling. I commented on it and her husband was quick to add “You made her happy!” (Previous to meeting me she had been very anxious and was crying). This just made my day. The comfort and joy we can give to others is perhaps the most fulfilling experience known to mankind. I am so thankful that Babson had invited me to be a part of this special event.
The story doesn’t end here. This mother called me a day later with some questions and somehow we ended up having the family over for dinner at our home. Babson is truly a big family… and a real community. We are happy to keep the Babson tradition going.