Shifting plans of college students baffle parents

She was supposed to be there by now, but she’s not.

She’s upstairs in her room, and it doesn’t look like she’s leaving anytime soon. It’s not that I want her to leave; it’s just that I wish, just once, an announced schedule would be the schedule she sticks to, but I guess that’s not what happens when you’re 20 years old and in college.

I was like that when I was 20 years old and in college. Well, not exactly like that. I knew that because my friends and I had the attention span of a mutant gnat, our plans were always in a state of flux, so I didn’t bother with an announced scheduled.

Sort of like the Trump administration.

Actually, when I was 20 years old and in college, I didn’t bother making plans. I mean, what would have been the point? And it’s not as if anyone cared if I had plans or not. I have six brothers and sisters, so my parents didn’t waste a lot of time wondering if one of their kids had plans.

Particularly if that kid was 20 years old and in college.

On Wednesday, our 20-year-old daughter, Emma, announced that she had plans to drive to her college town for the weekend.

“I’ll probably leave at 9:30 Friday morning,” Emma said.

She said the same thing Thursday morning. And Thursday afternoon. And Thursday evening.

But then, not long after she said on Thursday evening that she was planning to leave for her college town at 9:30 Friday morning, she looked at her phone.

“Katie” (that might or might not be her real name; I don’t bother trying to keep her college friends’ names straight) just texted. She has to work until 4 Friday afternoon, so I think I’ll leave around noon,” she said.

“OK,” my wife said.

“I can’t remember if there’s a Cardinals game tonight,” I said.

I’m not exactly a deep thinker.

I’m typing this on Friday afternoon. It’s now 2 p.m. Emma is still up in her room. About 30 minutes ago, my wife walked into the room where I’m working.

“If Emma wants to get there by 4, she needs to leave pretty soon,” I said.

So, my wife went to the foot of the stairs and hollered up to Emma. Then she came back into the room where I was working.

“Now she says she’s not leaving until 4,” my wife said.

“I see,” I said.

In less than 24 hours, 9:30 a.m. became noon, then 1:30 p.m. and now 4 p.m.

Emma’s plan is sort of a moving target is what I’m saying.

Originally, Emma and her friends were going to hang out around an apartment swimming pool on Friday afternoon. Then the plan called for them to go out Friday night to celebrate someone’s birthday.

By the way, before going out to celebrate the birthday, Emma said she and her friends would have a little party at the place where they’re staying. Emma tells us that having a party before going out is called “pregaming.”

“That sounds fun,” my wife said.

“I don’t want to know,” I said.

So now it sounds as if Emma and her friends will “pregame” around 6:30 or 7 p.m. and then go out to celebrate the birthday at around 10 p.m. Emma says that “literally nobody” goes out before 10 p.m.

The thing about shifting plans is that eventually you run out of time to shift plans. Not leaving until 4 p.m. has already pretty much eliminated hanging out at the apartment complex pool. Leaving much later than 4 p.m. will curtail or possibly eliminate “pregaming” time. And leaving much later than much later than 4 p.m. could curtail the birthday celebration.

All of which leads us to Emma’s return trip plans. As I understand it, Emma will either return early Saturday afternoon or August.

Oh well, at least she has a plan.