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Sister's move, first days of school show importance of strong families

Sept. 4, 2003

By Elvia Aguilar, columnist

My sister began her college career this week at Texas Tech; I know, I know, I failed.

Two weekends ago we moved her into a tiny dorm room and did the usual: installed the computer, decorated the room, organized the closet, etc.

For my parents, the move brought that inevitable, dreaded feeling every parent must experience, empty nest syndrome.

I felt I should play the jester of the bunch and turn a depressing moment into an exciting one. However, each time I took that eight-story hike to her room and was asked, 'So are you excited to be a Tech freshman?' it became clear that my happy-go-lucky attitude was slowly diminishing.

Perhaps I lost all optimism when I was on my way up to the eighth floor and the elevator abruptly stopped. A freshman, who had obviously cheated and climbed the flight of stairs to the second floor, pushed the button and made the elevator stop at her convenience.

The girl then became a bigger nuisance when her luggage prevented me from exiting the elevator on my stop. Nonetheless, I made it to my sister's room unharmed just in time to bid our farewells.

At this crucial point, I was tired and flustered. I didn't feel like being positive anymore, but despite my irritation, I was comforted by watching my sister gently usher my parents from her room to the hallway.

I saw how much she loves them by the way she respectfully nodded at all of my dad's instructions. I saw the proud look on my parents' faces when they hugged her tight and refused to let go. My frustration seemed to melt as I watched my family put aside their personal anxieties to reflect on love and then step forward to move on. It's witnessing actions like these that make you realize how fortunate you are to be a part of a strong family.

It's no secret Baylor has endured sad moments over the summer. I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive toward the first few weeks of school.

My spirits were lifted when we started school last week. I watched my professors selflessly stay late after class to answer repetitive questions from new students. I saw upperclassmen express positive attitudes to freshmen despite the pressure of TV news crews.

It's witnessing actions like these that make me realize how fortunate I am to be a part of another family - the Baylor family, one that remains strong.