I suppose I should feel reassured since the Princeton Review just released a batch of college rankings and Rice University is ranked number one for “quality of student life”. Son #2 must be enjoying the quality of life there since he hasn’t phoned home since my husband dropped him off a couple of days ago—not that I really expect him to. (However, dear, if you are reading this blog feel free to log on to iChat or give us a call!) Of course, I also don’t put too much stock in these polls. A few years ago one of the teen magazines rated Rice as having the coolest guys. This was an internet poll. Let us remember that Rice is filled with brilliant computer and engineering geeks who probably found it quite easy to generate multiple votes for the Rice men. This is not a slam against Rice men. After all I did marry one, dated many during my years at Rice, and am sending one of my cherished children to become one. However, when one thinks of the popular definition of cool, I think it is far more likely that one of the many loveable Rice geeks manipulated the system. Or then again, maybe I am just behind the times and today’s women just really love brainy academic types. I always did.
I can also be thankful that Oldest Son is attending Texas A&M. It’s conservative atmosphere along with the Corps of Cadets has been a perfect fit for him. I wonder how those parents who just dropped their kids off at that huge school down the road in Austin are feeling since the Princeton Review poll named University of Texas as the number one party school in the country. Like any other big school, a lot depends on the company you keep.
The “fan mail” for Child #3 is arriving steadily. There are so many schools publishing shiny brochures that look so appealing. The choices can be overwhelming. She is more inclined to visit schools than her older brothers. They were very content to do the research and make a decision based on their objective assessments. My daughter is much more like me. She wants to stand on the campus and see how it feels. That is how I chose Rice. My father drove up the long main entrance that is shaded by a live oak canopy to the classical architecture of the administration buildings. I got out of the car and said, “This is where I am going to school”. If just felt and looked like what I thought college should be. So I guess we will be doing a little traveling over the next year as we try to stand in the middle of campuses and feel the “vibes”.
I am not sure who the patron saint of college students is. St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron for students in general. I think I will ask him to pray for all kids as they resume their academic studies but include a special prayer for college freshmen who are beginning the next phase of their student life.
UPDATE Son #2 called this afternoon and quality of life is very good. He sounded happy and excited and full of energy. He has already found at least one person to go to Mass with on Sunday. (You notice he made sure I knew about it) I am so happy for him. St. Thomas, please keep praying. Freshman Week is great fun, but the real world starts on Monday!