I warned him at the beginning that college goes by in a flash. You’re so busy with classes and papers and exams and activities that you don’t notice those calendar pages flipping like in an old movie. Seems you’re just starting out, and then suddenly it’s over.
Despite my heads up to him, I’m also surprised at how quickly Mtuseni’s time in school has gone. He’s come so far, so fast. Seems like just yesterday he needed Google directions from me to find the college he’d always dreamed of attending, so he could tour it and take the entry exam. Back in those days he needed a lot from me. Oh, he still needs my help and guidance on many things, but he’s become much more independent and self-confident. I’ll admit it gives me a wistful, empty-nest feeling now and then — but it means I’m doing my job.
There have been some tough times this first half of his college career. The lonely, miserable first few weeks when he ate lunch by himself and wanted to quit entirely. The rock-bottom grade on his first college test that shocked us both and amplified his self-doubt. The ongoing quest to borrow laptops to do assignments. And flunking his Excel class — a mandatory course he’s still avoiding. (We both hate numbers and that software!)
But there have also been many highs at BMH. His first nightclub party at Montecasino for the freshers. Scoring a stellar grade on a big marketing paper despite lacking some key research data. (Good writing can sometimes save the day!) Being selected for the student committee and running his first successful events. His embrace of a wide range of media knowledge — and casual name-dropping of new terminology in our conversations. And his buddies Big Boy, Poloko and a growing group of friends all striving to achieve a better life.
Mtuseni and I have many months and more school hurdles ahead before that December 2013 graduation. But for this Father’s Day, I’m going to raise a glass of single malt to enjoy this shared milestone. Yep… every day with Mtuseni really is a celebration.
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