Thursday, November 12, 2009
College, first and foremost, is about getting a quality education and selecting a career that you will enjoy and hopefully make you some money.
I chose journalism – and I’m not getting rich by any means but loving it about 90 percent of the time. The past week has been unusually tough but the ups and the downs go with the territory.
My best memories of the college experience involve the people.
I ended up rooming with a couple of new friends from opposing high schools. One I faced regularly on the athletic field in both baseball and basketball. Another I met after high school.
Even though there were some other people from my high school (Hamilton, Ala.) attending the University of North Alabama, I did not hang out with them much when I went off to college. I enjoyed meeting others – from near Florence and beyond.
Daughter Emma, a freshman at the University of Southern Mississippi, has been home twice in the past month and three times since starting college in August. USM is four and a half hours away. For me, almost 30 years ago, UNA was a lot closer, and I went home every weekend. I had to get Mother to wash my clothes.
Three weeks ago Emma brought her dorm roommate. Pam and I had not met her. Emma did not know her until she got to USM.
Turns out Crystal graduated from nearby Lewisburg High School in DeSoto County.
One of the great fears of going to college and living in a dorm is the roommate assignment. It seems Emma’s and Crystal’s fears are long gone.
Not long after that visit, Emma called and said she was coming home November 7 (this past Saturday) and bringing a couple more friends and they were going to the Ole Miss-Northern Arizona game. One of her friends grew up a Rebel fan but had never been to an Ole Miss game.
Pam and I rounded them up some tickets, thanks to Fred and Patti Carlisle, and we had more guests in the Burleson household this past weekend.
Hannah graduated from Brookhaven High School and Savannah from Madison Central High School.
I immediately asked Savannah if she knew Bobby Hall.
“Oh yes,” was her reply.
Hall is the head football coach at Madison Central, the number one team in the state. I followed him as a journalist in Amory a few years back when his Panthers were always in the state championship hunt.
They got here early Saturday afternoon, and as the case with most college kids, they were very hungry. You’d think they never eat when they’re away. Pam had prepared well with plenty of good food.
It was a great weekend – lots of laughs and good fellowship. Rolling out the welcome mat for the friends of our children is something we truly enjoy.
And I believe the experience of branching out and meeting new people can be very rewarding.
I know I cherish my network of friends – from high school and college and through working in four different cities.
Here’s hoping Emma, Andy and Erin enjoy similar friendships as they continue their paths through school and into the working world.
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