*written December 12, 2012 – technically not posted here until December 16, 2013 when I forgot I ever wrote this*
Greetings recipients of the Zalkind holiday card!
Note the use of holiday because we don’t care what you celebrate, we just want you to enjoy doing it.
It’s Rachel here! If you didn’t remember, I’m the 18 year old daughter of Jeff and Nicky and the twin of Trevor! I decided to take it upon myself to write this letter for a few reasons :
1) I’m the wittiest and greatest writer in this household (don’t tell that to my journalism-studying brother) so it made perfect sense.
2) I have nothing else to do with my life at this moment since none of my friends are home from school yet. (oh the wonders of the quarter system!)
3) No one else would do it. Because we usually don’t do this letter stuff.
Anyways… 2012 has been a year of… adventure and change?
In the spring, Trevor and I received the awaited acceptance/denial letters from colleges around the country. Envelopes were opened, emotions were felt, and decisions were made, but only after some last minute college visits. For Trevor, Syracuse, for me, Santa Clara. They soon became our favorites not only because we were accepted (low standards or easy to please?), but because they met everything we had been searching for since we were forced to visit schools at the beginning of junior year!
Skip to the end of senior year, I officially decided to attend Santa Clara University and Trevor decided on Syracuse University. In May, we both graduated at the well-known Red Rocks amphitheatre with cords around our sweaty necks. And we looked STUNNING in our green polyester caps and gowns. Oh Mountain Vista High School, you did us well, but, NOW WE’RE IN COLLEGE!!!!!
Summer came and went. We disappointed our parents with a failed job search. But hey, it’s the economy’s fault, not ours! Right? Hmm. And we played sports and relaxed, and eventually, we embarked on cross country journeys to school (yes, we really did take road trips to both New York and California). At the end of August, we dropped Trevor off at Syracuse (GO ORANGE!?) and then hit up the Canadian side of Niagara falls without him! A couple weeks later, in September, we headed West to drop me off! But do not worry, we stopped in Vegas on the way there! And my dad almost gambled our college funds away. JUST KIDDING! He didn’t even spend much time at all at the tables. The old folks and I did see the Beatles Love Cirque de Soleil show though! It was amazing! Something between a dream and tripping on drugs?* [*Disclaimer: I do not actually know what tripping on drugs feels like, ok?]
And just like that, Jeff and Nicky became empty nesters.**
[**Disclaimer: Our dog Buddy, who is almost 13 years old is loved, talked to, and spoiled more than me and Trevor combined, therefore making him the equivalent of a child, therefore eliminating the term empty nesters from being applied to Jeff and Nicky. I don’t think you understand, their daily lives revolve around the dog’s schedule and well-being. But it’s just normal to them.]
Empty nester life has been treating them way too well so far.
For the small price of two college tuition bills, they are able to:
Go to the mountains whenever they please
Have a cleaner house AND do less laundry
Eliminate the cost of snacks and food for two hungry teenagers
Sit in their over-sized (for two people) house and play words with friends against each other on their respective devices
Have fewer time commitments / Facebook stalk their children very regularly
Make their children stay on respective coasts of the country for Thanksgiving break.
Live a little? (Including but not limited to attending Chritmas-themed pub crawls. Wait, whaaat?)
To stay active: My mom is still an active women’s tennis league participant and my dad has a good time walking the dog? And golfing. And they both ski.
To give back: Dad continues to be involved with the Habitat for Humanity metro Denver leadership team and Mom is involved volunteering for various organizations.
Honestly, I’m not sure how their time has been filled as my brother and I have been so dedicated and focused on our pursuits of higher education! (Read: We are smart and doing fine living away from home)
My brother, Trevor, he is….quite studious and…. he… always claims he’s busy studying. He told me during my first week of school that he lives in the library and I should too (personally, I don’t take advice about college from someone who has only been in college two weeks longer than me). He is studying journalism and international relations at Syracuse and he rarely interacts with his roommate since there is a strange divider thing in the middle of their room. He does, however, have other friends and he is involved in his dorm’s event planning group, some outdoorsy activity club, and his school’s 360 Degrees Magazine. He also got the parents to come visit him during November! I suppose we all know who the favorite is now!
And then there’s me. I am one of those “undeclared” business students at Santa Clara University. My only friends are people on the floor of my dorm, and my roommate and I have a catch phrase (come get a dose of double R! I can’t decide if it sounds weird or creative). I am also involved in my dorm’s event planning group and my most recent accomplishment was being hired as a student ambassador AKA TOUR GUIDE! I’m pretty darn excited if I do say so myself. If you come visit me I would love to show you around and share all the fun facts I know about SCU like…oh…I don’t know… we have the highest gardener to student ratio of all schools on the West Coast!
This “letter” is getting too long. But I hope you enjoyed it if you did indeed make it this far.
Happy holidays from the Zalkinds. We hope you’ve had a great 2012! We are so thankful to be surrounded by incredible family members and friends and we hope you know how much you have added to our lives! Have a great holiday season and keep in touch!