Lucas Gets Ready for College

So Lucas is off to college in a couple weeks. He leaves for Denison University in Ohio on the 13th and his parents will move him into his dorm room the next day. That’s way earlier than they’d originally planned, but, well, y’all can guess that his freshman year is gonna get all fucked up because of COVID.

From what Lucas tells me, the first thing Denison did was change the schedule for the fall term and have it run from mid-August to Thanksgiving. And that’s gonna be it. No going back after Thanksgiving for finals and shit. Lucas says it’s so that the students won’t have to travel so much. I reckon that makes sense…but it still seems pretty weirdass to me.

He’s still going to get to live in a dorm, and he’s still gonna have a roommate (Lucas has emailed him a few times, but still knows very little about him; the one thing I do know is that he’s not a baseball player.) They’re still gonna have dining halls…but they’ll have plastic partitions and social distancing…so meals won’t exactly be social. They’re also gonna have take-out meals, so I reckon you can eat in your room or something. That’s better than eating behind a plastic partition like you’re visiting someone in jail.

They’re gonna be having real classes, so it’s not like Lucas is making the trip across most of the country just to sit in front of his computer and take classes on Zoom like he was doing senior year. That would be totally dumbass…and, if you ask me, a huge waste of his parents’ money. (I don’t know how much Denison costs, but I have a suspicion it’s costing the Andrews a lot.) There’s just gonna be social distancing and things like classes outside. And I presume they’re gonna require students to wear masks. From the sound of it, it seems at least as though the people in charge at Denison have a plan. That’s a lot better than what Lucas went through for the end of his senior year, but, then, they’ve had longer to think about it. Everyone really was flying blind back in March.

And what about the thing me and him are most worried about, athletics? From what we can make out, the gym and ‘athletics center’ are gonna be open (with social distancing and sanitizing between users), so he’ll be able to keep working out and swimming. As for baseball…nobody knows what the fuck is gonna be happening with college athletics this year, and that goes for every sport. The good thing about baseball is that it’s a spring sport…so maybe the whole COVID thing will be behind us by the time baseball season comes around.

On Monday, Lucas had to start ‘monitoring his symptoms’. That means filling out a lameass questionnaire every day to get in the habit of filling one out every day once he gets to campus. I reckon it’s good that they’re being careful even before the students arrive: when you have a situation where a lot of people are living close to each other and one person gets COVID, it won’t be long before everyone’s got it. And y’all can imagine what a disaster that would be.

Of course, all these precautions are only as good as the students who follow them. Y’all have seen what total jerkoffs people in their 20s have been during the crisis, crowding into bars and even having those fuckin stupid ‘COVID parties’. The only college-age kids I know are Lucas and Eric, and I know they’re both being careful…but I’m not so sure what’s gonna happen when a bunch of teenagers go away to college and find themselves on their own for the first time. I know I did a whole mess of stupid shit once I got to Murfreesboro and Mom and Dad weren’t watching my every move anymore. But that kind of stupid shit (most of it had to do with drinking and/or getting laid lol) ain’t nothing compared to the kind of stupid shit college students may get into on campuses this year…like people refusing to wear masks or not keeping up social distancing. I mean, I know that it’s hard to keep up social distancing under the best of circumstances, but, when you’ve got a bunch of young people on their own for the first time, I have trouble imagining that they’re gonna be able to stay far enough apart from each other to keep safe.

And, I know I’m thinking like a horndog here…but what about getting laid? I’ve been too busy working on Lucas’ baseball with him to get into it…but it’s time he got himself a girlfriend. There was no way to do that this spring and summer, but it’ll probably be pretty different when he gets to college and there’ll are a bunch of chicks his age on their own for the first time and as curious as he probably is.

Go tell a bunch of college freshmen away from home for the first time that they can’t have sex because of social distancing…

Yeah…that ain’t gonna happen. And it’s not like a jimmyhat is gonna keep you from catching COVID-19 from a sexual partner. (That reminds me…I wonder if anyone’s had the condom talk with Lucas. I don’t see Mr. Andrews doing it. I guess maybe Carter took care of it, although Carter’s not my example of a responsible role model.)

So how’s Lucas handling the fact that he’s going away to college in a couple weeks?

It varies. Some days he’s cool…and some days he’s freaking out. And the way he handles freaking out is taking it out in the pool (his swimming’s gotten pretty dang sloppy as a result, so I’m beating him more than I was a month ago), or on the weight equipment he got when they closed the gyms, or working with me. We spent an hour on diving catches last week, just so he could burn off some steam. Then we put in half an hour on behind-the-back relays to 1st, although he mostly misses. That’s cool, those throws are hit-or-miss for me too…but it’s so dang satisfying when you manage a good one. Lucas has turned out to be a much better player than I thought he’d been when I first met him…but he’s not Kiké Hernández. At least not yet.

But mostly Lucas is doing ok. It’s good that he’s got some experience being away from home, since he’s been to baseball camp three summers running. I know that helped me from being super homesick when I got to college; being away from home the first time can be rough. (Ok, I’ll admit it: I used to get super homesick the first week at baseball camp.) Although he’s nervous, I can also tell that part of him is all excited at the idea of being on his own…even if it ain’t gonna be as much fun as it was for me when I got to Murfreesboro and things were normal.

Speaking of school plans, Carter’s going to be starting law school at Pepperdine University this fall. Pepperdine’s here in Southern California and we’re a lot stricter about COVID there than they seem to be in Ohio. (Given the COVID numbers right now, that makes sense.) Pepperdine’s doing all their classes online this fall, and, from what Lucas tells me, that has Mr. Andrews majorly pissed off. He doesn’t like the idea of spending good money so his oldest son can get an online law degree. Carter’s enough of a slacker to begin with…and I know from Lucas that Mr. and Mrs. Andrews already aren’t pleased that he didn’t get into USC Law School. Don’t get me wrong: I like Carter a lot, it’s just that he can be pretty fuckin immature when he wants to be, and I don’t see how going to law school online is gonna help him grow up any. At least there’s one bright side to the COVID situation: as long as the bars stay closed, he’ll be safe from getting his ass kicked lol.

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