By Guest Blogger, Ann Sheridan
“Wake up. Today is the first day of the worst year of your life,” I told my daughter back in August. She was starting her junior year.
“Five more minutes,” she groaned.
“You’ve got 30 seconds. And that’s only because this is the first day. You’ll be behind all semester, but hopefully we can make it up by Christmas Break.”
It’s well known that eleventh grade is the toughest year of any student’s academic life. It’s also agony for parents. It’s the year of letters. AP, SAT, GPA. The year of college visits. State Schools. Private Schools. Military Schools. And it’s the year all your hard work is close to paying off.
I was excited to take college trips with my daughter. We’d stay in a hotel. I’d sleep till eight. We’d have clean towels.
“I got us a room in the middle of campus,” I said. It looks great. Don’t even think of re-hanging your towels,” I joked as we left the house and headed out.
“Can you change the radio?”
This was going to be fun.
While we drove, I tried to explain the importance of taking it all in.
“Consider the distance, the weather. Look at the students. Would you fit in? Maybe you should drive, to see what it feels like coming and going.” I had this down.
“You can’t be tired. This is my vacation.”
Things didn’t get much better once we arrived.
“Look at this place. It’s amazing,” I said.
“Wow, they have a Panera,” she answered.
“Listen lady. I didn’t use all my Hampton Inn points and two days of vacation time to log reward points at a fast-food joint. This is a college visit. Pay attention. We’re going on a tour.”
“It’s not for me.”
“How do you know? We just drove six hours. We’ve only been here 30 minutes. I’ve seen people spend more time than that deciding on which Latte to order.”
“I just know. It’s not the right fit.”
“Look, I know it’s been a hard semester. But you’re going to college next year. There are kids who already have their comforters picked out. By the way, have you done your SAT homework?”
“Am not. But drop and give me three synonyms for crazy anyway. Then get to work. You have 642 more pages in the SAT book to complete by next Saturday. You need to raise your score 50 points if you want to go anywhere. This trip won’t be a total loss if you use your car time wisely.
“Five more minutes,” she said. Her eyes got that glazy look. She reached for her headphones. She was gone.
I rolled down the car window and looked around, took it all in, and decided to leave.
She was everywhere on that campus. Sitting at a Starbucks, walking with friends, studying under a tree. It would be here soon.
Five more minutes wasn’t much to ask for.
Smarties, we’re thrilled to add Ann Sheridan to our blogroll as we think she is oh-so-Smarty! Ann has reported in Charlotte for 17 years, covering some of our area’s biggest and most important events, including the DNC, Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, the Final Four, Super Bowl XXXI, the Rae Carruth and Susan Smith trials, among others.
Ann also reported on her own scare with breast cancer, documenting her journey through telling her children, to surgery and through recovery. For that work, Carolinas Medical Center named a fund in her honor that provides money to women who can’t afford mammograms.
A morning reporter for NBC Charlotte, Ann is the winner of three Emmys, two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and several AP awards.
She and her husband Steve, and their three children, live in South Charlotte.
Back by popular demand, we present the 2013 Smarty Awards! It’s your turn to shout out to your favorite local businesses. We’ve asked our Smarty Moms and Dads every Saturday for over FIVE years about their favorite things to do around the QC. It’s time to give these businesses some much deserved recognition and let you, Smarty Charlotte, cast your vote. Click here to vote!