M continues in his minimalist approach to communication. In general, he will reply briefly to texts, unless the question is too intrusive, like what were his plans for Halloween. So we run on the theory espoused by every parent of college-age kids we’ve met — “If he were miserable, you’d be hearing from him more often.” By that standard, he is having the best freshman year in the history of freshmen. Or years.
Considering who pays the bills, a parental question about registration for second-semester classes seemed reasonable. He replied by listing the classes he planned to take. A couple days later, I texted to ask if he managed to get them. He got 3 out of 4 (which 3, he didn’t say) but had to choose 1 more and wanted to know if we thought he should take Russian history or a history class about revolutions.
Now, my understanding of Russian history can be summed up as:
1) Everyone was cold, hungry, and miserable.
2) There was a violent change of government.
3) Many people were killed.
4) Everyone left alive was cold, hungry, and miserable.
E and I both suggested he take Revolutions instead. He later texted back, “I’m just worried about taking four 200 classes.” Of course, he hadn’t previously said what level his other three classes were. I looked at the two history classes on the school website, and realized Revolutions is also listed as an upper-level writing class for history majors.
So I texted back the following: “Unless you’ve decided to major in history, Russian history might make for a more manageable semester. And really – since your gut reaction was not happy that E and I suggested Revolutions, then your gut already knows what you want to take. Love you!”
No response. So I don’t know what he’s picked. But I hope I helped him feel more confident in his own decision-making, since it’s clear he’s going to navigate 99% of college without input from us!