Posted to OGR on 0725/2010
All across the country many young folks are preparing to take their first big step away from home; they are getting ready to go off to college. Smiles on their faces, and butterflies in their tummies, they are ranging the malls for computers, clothes and furnishings for their dorm rooms. In just a few short weeks they will board cars, planes and trains to travel to new places, to meet new people and learn new things.
For me, it was the first time that I had been outside the state of Florida. I took a train up to South Carolina, arriving around 6:30 AM. Then a cab to my dorm where I checked in with two suitcases and then immediately went to Freshman Orientation. I was in a place I had never seen before and awash in a new culture, learning where things were and of course so many people. I knew only two people in my new location, a girl from my old neighborhood and a family friend who was entering her junior year that year. I did not have much time to be homesick or lonely, though. The day after orientation, we started the 3 day registration process. The kids today with their online registration systems have no idea what mayhem and chaos manual class registration could be. We traipsed all over campus gathering computer cards trying to find seats in the classes we wanted. There were many false starts as we got to the last class on our list only to find out that it was full and then we would have to go back and change one that we had registered for earlier.
I didn’t know it at the time but that couple of weeks in late August and early September was a pivotal point in my life. I had expected to be in college for four years and then embark on a Navy career then eventually retire back in Jacksonville, but a young man’s plans for life never seem to take hold. But while at school, I became involved with the campus radio station, WUSC and found that broadcasting would be my first and longest career. I would settle down in Columbia, and live my adult life here, even as I travelled all over the US for work. All that was hidden from me as I started college life; a fresh faced student, hitting the books, checking out the co-eds and starting out on a new life all on my own. Oh MY!
Copyright 2010 Rick Wrigley