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Friday, October 16, 2009

10/16/09 The Life of a College Freshman (and his Non-Helicopter Mom)

So we've been talking about teens lately here on LBT and I've had some new updates in my middle one's (DS1) life at college this month.
He's pretty sure he already wants to change his major…not a big surprise as many college students do. I give PSU a lot of credit for immersing them in a course in their major their first semester. He's decided that an Engineering Major (in CS)- is not for him as it doesn't involve enough people interaction and he doesn't want a job where you sit at a computer all day. Well, that's good to know sooner rather than later. He's bright and has time to figure out what he wants to do…my DH was 'Undeclared' until they came and made him pick a major his junior year. We reviewed his plan and listened. I'm trying so hard to NOT to be a 'Helicopter Mom'

(the ones that hover and solve all their problems for them; I know college is as much about becoming an adult as it is about school). DS's already been to get advice from three of the Profs in the Engineering Dept. so they've got a plan (and I'm not worried...yet).

He joined a fraternity (put a wrench in all our plans to see him as he has 'pledge duties' and events, but I'm NOT hovering)…when we called him last night he was scraping out the deep fryer at the fraternity house with another Pledge. They'd run out of dish soap and were contemplating whether floor soap would work LOL (OK, I had to make a few suggestions on this one...I'm the Clean Queen).
He's the Treasurer of his Pledge Class, so it's good he's getting involved. I was glad to hear the fraternity has mandatory study hours for him…sounds like a balance…we'll see...DH and I met as Greeks…we know.

So yesterday afternoon I get an urgent call from him wanting to borrow all our camping gear …and I need it in two hoursOh, and I need the big 4 room tent because we have 10 guys. Me- OK, where are you camping? I'm thinking this might be a pledge class thing. PATERNOVILLE! he says excitedly. So after several stressful hours of packing up his long list (tent, tarps, lantern, sleeping gear, board games, etc.) and adding a few of my own (bags and bags of chips and food, an extra blanket, and a small gift for my God-daughter/his cousin there…I have to keep my informants happy), two of his friends (that go to a satellite of PSU near here) came to pick it all up on their way to Main Campus.

So you're asking…WHAT THE HECK IS PATERNOVILLE? Well, I can tell you. Penn State has long given out non-seat specific tickets to students (they all sit in one section), and in order to get front row seats on the rail, students started camping out a few days prior to games.

PSU became part of the Big 10 and in 2005 with the biggest and longest (6 day) campout in anticipation of the Ohio State game, the name 'Paternoville' (for Coach Joe Paterno) was finally given to the tent city when one student hung a banner with the name. Paternoville now has its own student government with officers and continues to grow. There are all kinds of rules like: you have to pre-register, max 10 in a group, one per group has to be lined up at the stadium at all times (they take turns…after all they're expected to still go to school) what day/time they're allowed to set up (Thursdays for most games, it's a week before for the OSU game), etc. …and they've got it down to a science. The Paternovillers get special wristbands and on game day the stadium workers wake the camp about 6:30am with the loud speakers playing the sound of a rooster crowing, by 7am the tents have to be down.

Well, it snowed yesterday at PSU and Paternoville was cancelled for this week's game due to the weather. We bought tickets for our whole family to go to the OSU game there on Nov. 7th and stay the whole weekend to visit (as did my God-daughter's family...can't wait to see him...I'm NOT hovering)…I'm sure it will be another Penn State White Out.

We'll be easy to spot in our Ohio State Alumni scarlet and gray

and no, we won't be staying in Paternoville …but I know who will (pic attached)! Ahhh...the life of a college Freshman....

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