A 2021 Badger
In a few days, my son will graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. For some reason this is both an extremely proud but sad occasion for me. I couldn't be prouder of his achievements, especially given that he graduated in 3.5 years, one semester early. That can be attributed to his AP classes in high school. Both he and my daughter took a slew of AP courses and those credits (mostly) transferred as college credits. With college tuitions what they are, this amounts to thousands of dollars saved.
I will go ahead and say that both of my kids were better students than I was. They were smarter and applied themselves much more than I did. Some of this might be a dual vs. single parent upbringing, but much of it was just that they were extremely self-driven. We coaxed them, but in the end, it was their own high expectations of themselves that helped them succeed.
I remember when I took Ben to his orientation/tour. The keynote speaker made a mention that as a student who was accepted at UW, you were among the top ranks of students around the country. He went on to talk about Madison's ranking as a top university for research, etc. It was eye opening. I was just hoping for a good fit for Ben and a chance to rise to the occasion of being among 15,000 other good students.
Of course he did and here we are about to celebrate his graduation. It turns out, pandemic aside, that he will be able to "walk" at Camp Randall stadium with his friends and a few roommates. It will be a live-streamed event for us, unlike the in-person one for my daughter in 2018. We will have to take what we can get. Getting through a global pandemic for any student is an honor of sorts.
I don't know where the time goes that I have not one, but two college grads for kids, but I guess time marches on. I can't wait to see where he ends up, be it out west, overseas or back in the midwest. I just know that my pride for his accomplishments is real.