Attending event without 2014 student

<p>.I am attending a Harvard picnic for incoming freshmen and parents.My daughter (the freshman) is on an organic farm in Sweden, and won't be back in time,but wants us to attend to meet possible carpool connections .I am a bit apprehensive about attending ,as I did not attend Harvard although husband did.Anyone out there who has attended an event like this? Thrilled that daughter got in, but uneasy for me ,having mostly been a stay-at -home mom for 25 years raising 4 kids ,recently an empty nester , unable to find meaningful employment......feeling vulnerable .Doing some volunteer work,but a lot of time on my hands .Any comments ?Is anyone else dealing with empty nest?
fauxmaven is online now</p>

<p>All this completely depends on your comfort level. There are some people who love to go to these things, talk easily with plenty of people, and end up making fast friends with everyone they meet. </p>

<p>On the other hand, from everything you wrote, "I am a bit apprehensive about attending ,as I did not attend Harvard although husband did....Thrilled that daughter got in, but uneasy for me ,having mostly been a stay-at -home mom for 25 years raising 4 kids ,recently an empty nester , unable to find meaningful employment......feeling vulnerable .Doing some volunteer work,but a lot of time on my hands . this doesn't sound like "your" kind of an event. If I was you, I'd skip it.</p>

<p>Do many people go who are not from Ivy League schools ? I am a friendly person ,under normal circumstances. Are most Harvard people elitist ? Will it be uncomfortable for a non Harvard person? Limabeans, I appreciate your advice.My daughter wants me to go, and I hopefully will connect with some people .Did you go to Harvard?</p>

<p>We did the same for our son. Actually we moved him into the dorms and attended orientation without him. He had another commitment, and we had already booked our trip. Felt a little strange. He did join us the next day.</p>

<p>The majority of the parents there will not be Harvard alumni. If you normally like to meet new people, you will probably be fine. You don't have to stay a long time, right? You can go for a while and if you don't like it, you can leave?</p>

<p>Most Harvard parents did not attend Harvard. I think you will be fine. I find at events like this it's pretty easy if you have an agenda. "Hi my name is ___. My daughter is busy working on an organic farm, but she thought I should come because she was interested in seeing how many people come from our area in case she'd like to carpool." In my experience people are grateful if someone is around who actually starts conversations going. The questions are pretty easy. "What dorm will your kid be in? How big is your child's rooming group? Do they look like they have interesting roommates? Are they nervous/excited? What are they thinking of majoring in? "</p>

<p>I think most Harvard alums (I'm one) are pretty friendly and unassuming. All my Harvard friends attended public schools and were solidly middle class. I've been to some events related to reunions where that were hosted by very upper class folks and they were always very nice too, though we clearly don't run in the same circles at all.</p>

<p>OP, you must be kidding, right?</p>

<p>I say being a mom to raise 4 kids and many of them go to the ivy schools, especially your daughter to Harvard is the hardest job in ANY business. NEVER look down upon yourself. Hold your head high and goto ANY occasion with pride and esteem, brag your achievements to anyone and they will respect you with the highest regards....</p>

<p>I think it's nice that your daughter wants you to go--our son is just neutral about any college events--ok if we come, ok if we don't.</p>

<p>Perhaps you could consider it an info-gathering session for her, stories and observations you can share, so as not to think of it as you yourself on display. Just talk about your D!</p>

<p>You might consider posting on the Harvard page for more particulars about this event. Good luck!</p>

<p>I think your daughter is unrealistic to expect you to make carpooling connections at that sort of event. It's just not really what happens at those things -- those events are for the students to find out more about the school -- the detail stuff that they didn't pay attention to during the application process -- and in theory to meet and get to know one another, though I don't think my kids had any meaningful contact later on with the others who they met at the local event. Parents are far more likely to also talk about preparation for the impending move -- I do recall a discussing bed sheets at the event I attended with my daughter. </p>

<p>If you want to attend, then you will be very welcome, and no one is going to care or even ask about your career or education -- everyone is focused on the kids. </p>

<p>But you aren't going to make rideshare connections there -- that's the sort of thing the kids do on their own later on, using whatever internet connections are appropriate these days, such as Facebook groups.</p>

<p>Harvard has worked to get economic diversity into its classes. That means that there will be parents there who have professional and advanced degrees. And there will be parents there who work in the trades and in grocery stores, in the school district, etc. I think that if you worked to make those parents feel less uncomfortable, you would find that you will forget about your own discomfort.</p>

<p>Any parent--no matter the socio-economic level--will love to talk about their kid...and XL sheets.</p>

<p>Looks like you've had first hand experience in dealing socially with a Harvard grad (your husband). You are way ahead of the curve when it comes to interacting with Ivy league graduates. Unless, of course, this is where you are getting your impression that Harvard parents/Harvard grads are elitists. I hope not.</p>

<p>As for getting carpool connections, I would bet that most families would not have extra room at the original drop off time for an additional student and her stuff. You should definitely go with her for the drop-off. It'll be a great experience--and since you don't have any more kids at home, you have the time to do this. </p>

<p>If your D is thinking about future carpool opportunities, I would suggest that she friend people on FB and make her own connections. (Calmom beat me to it.)</p>

<p>If she will be back in time to go on a freshman outdoor backpacking trip, I would highly suggest going. Great way to get to know some people before school starts.</p>

<p>Speaking to the empty nest question, I am one year into the empty nest, after having been a stay at home mom for 20 years. I haven't found meaningful employment--haven't found any endeavor that I consider meaningful and am in the enviable position of not having to work unless I find something meaningful.</p>

<p>I kept one of my volunteer jobs at the local high school, I tutor math and chemistry to local high school kids, I am finding that more of my time is spent helping older friends with things like doctor's appointments. </p>

<p>Still waiting for destiny to knock on my door and show me the way...and not fretting that destiny is taking its sweet time!</p>

<p>Most colleges have rider boards and other ways to make carpool connections -- doesn't Harvard? Your D could certainly look into this once she arrives. There must be more reason than that for her asking you to attend.</p>

<p>I have to speak up for Craigslist as a ride board. (It's how my son met his wife ;) )</p>

<p>^LOL, calmom!</p>

<p>That's funny Calmom!</p>

<p>I agree the event won't be the place to find carpool possibilities, but it may be a way to connect with other Harvard parents. And fauxmaven, that's the one common thread among the people who will be attending - they're all Harvard parents - and that includes you:) Our family have attended several local events for incoming freshmen at my d's school (I'm going to a lunch for freshman moms today) and it's just nice to meet some new people in the same boat as us.</p>

<p>As for finding carpool possibilities, I think most schools have a website for that type of thing.</p>

<p>I attended a Princeton summer sendoff reception with a close friend and her incoming freshman daughter. She's recently widowed and we both graduated from a state university 30 years ago. It was all very welcoming -- and I know my friend was glad to make the connections.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the support everyone!!I'll have to report back after the event,Of course, we plan to take our daughter for move in day !!I was looking for rides not at important moments,like getting home for the winter break. My son at Case-Western in Ohio found someone to carpool with who is only an hour away, so he sometimes uses him .I imagine the ride board is a good way.Do kids find out somehow who is in their state, other than ride board? When my daughter started HS, we were given a list by town of new students(this was a private school).</p>

<p>Fauxmaven, has your husband given you the impression that "Harvard people" are a certain way? Have you not had the opportunity to meet any of his college classmates? As others have said, I think you'll find, first, that folks whose kids are going to Harvard often have no previous affiliation with Harvard, so to that extent they're just "regular people." Furthermore, if there are Harvard grads at this event with college-aged kids, they are also just regular people. Usually smart and articulate, but normal. Some of them are stay-at-home parents or married to stay-at-home parents. </p>

<p>As to the stated purpose of your attending...things may have changed quite a bit over the years, but I believe that very few Harvard students have cars on campus, so there might not be very many people to help with getting a ride home.</p>

<p>Deskpotato-I love that! My husband's whole family is Ivy League-mother -in-law retired Dean of University,other in-laws are from Harvard,Duke MIT, Cornell....I am from California,and feel lucky to have married into this family.My hook here was that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom,and not work,as most of my in-laws only stayed home for a short time before returning to their jobs .I got to be Supermom and be very involved with my children's lives, a real "Suzy Home-maker",except now, as my baby goes off to Harvard ,I have nothing to fall back on, except teaching, but who will hire me at 56? I am glad I stayed home,but the future looms like a vast wasteland...empty nest.I raised 4 great kids,and now? I guess volunteer work and being a substitute teacher will fill the time .We all make decisions that have consequences ,and now I have to move on in my own life.</p>

<p>You have got to stop thinking of people as their resumes! I wouldn't expect a Welcome Harvard picnic to be any different from any other college welcome picnic. Most people will be nice and friendly, and a few will be jerks-- that's life. I think you are letting yourself be intimidated when there is no need. Go and have fun.</p>