by Nancy Geiger
I’ve noticed some changes in Brittany this year. She has always been pretty independent, mature and self-sufficient. Being an only child she’s been comfortable around adults since she was a little girl. Sometimes I even felt like she was the parent and I was the kid when she would blow me away with her insightfulness about some situation.
But, then she’d do something childish and I would relax realizing I still had some mothering to do.
This year she has been showing a lot more responsibility. I think part of it is she’s gotten so involved at school. She’s really made a place for herself. I love that while she’s on the phone with me she gets interrupted a dozen times by friends saying hi. I love that she’s so excited to tell me all about the girls her sorority just pledged, or the event she was just at or some plans she has coming up.
I even love when she complains that her roommate keeps trying to talk to her when she has a paper to write! It means she’s actually studying!
She’s also in a bit of a sink or swim situation this semester. She is taking 19 credit hours, working 25 hours a week at Subway and is active in both her sorority and Sophomore Leadership Institute. On top of that she was just elected Panhellenic president, (the council overseeing all the sororities on campus) which is pretty impressive for a sophomore. With all of this she’s really had to focus and work hard.
And it doesn’t leave her much time for mistakes.
However she’s made a few and that’s where I’ve seen not only her growth in maturity, but also the “little girl” still inside.
On the one hand she’s still not very good at managing her money. (OK, she’s not good at it at all.) When she was home over break and working at Jersey Mike’s three people from her bank came in one day for lunch. She told me later that when she recognized them coming in the door her heart stopped for a second because she thought they had come to arrest her!
I told her I didn’t think people get thrown in jail for overdrawing their account, even if they do do it three times. Besides, she paid the bank a total of $102.00 in overdraft charges for it. Punishment enough if you ask me!
Where I have seen her growth in the money area though is when she signed up for a credit card she actually read the terms and conditions! I know this because she called to ask me what I thought one of the statements meant.
I told her it would be better to call the credit card company, unwilling to admit my eyes glaze over when someone hands me a contract of any kind. (I don’t even read recipes! I just look at the ingredients, most of which I substitute for something else!)
She also showed responsibility when her cell phone broke. She didn’t ask us what to do about it. She just ordered a new one. Of course she got a pink razr and put it on her new credit card because she was broke. But, hey, just a semester ago she would have put it on her bank debit card and overdrawn her account. Again.
After asking us if we were proud of her being elected Panhellenic President she told us she needs a Vera Bradley bag for the position because she has so many notebooks to take to the meetings. I reminded her she has a Vera Bradley tote. (Or four or five) She said that none of them are big enough. I asked her what about her Alpha Gam tote? She said she didn’t feel right carrying her sorority letters to a mixed group of Greek women. John suggested she use some of the Wal-Mart bags from her many shopping trips there.
She didn’t even bother to answer that one. But, she did say she would save up for a tote and buy it herself.
Save up? Hey! Maybe we are making progress!
Nancy Geiger and her husband are Baby Boomer empty nesters with their daughter Brittany (their only child) now a junior at college. When she left home Nancy started writing a monthly column for their local weekly paper about parenting a college student long distance. After 17 years as a travel agent for American Express, Nancy decided to commit herself to freelance writing and starting an online store, 2 blogs, a website and LOTS of volunteering! She even just published a cookbook called A Brides Cookbook or surviving the First Year. http://abridescookbook.com
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