Tomorrow she starts college. My little girl has grown up so fast, I can’t believe it. Was it 17 years ago that my parents told me, I was going to have a tiny playmate soon? When I first saw her, she looked like a porcelain doll. So white and fair in my sunburned, coffee colored hands. And so very tiny, I was scared she’ll just float away.
It feels like yesterday when she started kindergarten. She agreed to get into the van, because I was on it too. When we stopped at her school, she insisted I accompany her to the class. One day she got hurt and was sitting in the class after school. The teacher asked me to come and get her. All big – sisterly I strode in and picked up her bag and water bottle. “Big girls don’t cry”, I said and my angel stopped immediately.
I remember all this now, some fifteen years later. She’s all grown up and is done with school. No more uniforms and cycle tests. Our baby of the house is suddenly a big girl! And I feel, I should have so much to say.
My mum asked me today, “Do you remember your first day in college?”. Yup, I do. The 8th of August 2001. I walked in and said Hi to D, and sat next to M. The three of inseparable for the next 4 years. The best friends I’ve made in life, I made in the first 10 minutes of college.
Enjoy these years! They’re the best. Be sure to make mistakes. College is like an alternative universe where even the funniest gaffes are forgotten in a week. Get outside the classroom and learn a bit about the real world. The best things I did in college were outside the classroom – I think most people would agree with me on this one.
Burn up a Transistor. I think no one gets their engineering degree without burning up atleast a few transistors over the years. If you ever want to learn anything in college – let it be in the lab. For most of us, it’s the last time in life that we ever need/have to bias a circuit. Make it count.
Experiment. And not just in the lab. Try on different personalities until you find one that fits. College is an amazing time to “find” yourself. It’s the last time that the world gives you that luxury. Try something new every few weeks. Do things that you’re not comfortable with. The best actors, guitarists, playwrights and dancers were born out of an uncomfortable moment when will triumphed over nervousness.
Meet people. In school, everybody you knew had daddys who worked in software or were CAs, and everyone’s mum drove a Santro or a Scooty. College has a more diverse set of folks. Get out and meet people. You’ll never know who you’ll end up bonding with over a shared love for Metallica or Calvin and Hobbes.
I know you hardly need any of this advice. Over the years, you’ve been the one who usually advises me. Calm and level headed to my tempests and drama. I’m proud of you baby, be good and remember to have a blast!