The following piece was submitted by the father of first-year student Rachel Swenson as he reflected on the incredible helpfulness of her male peers as she moved into her dorm room.
What an exhausting day it’s been for us Swensons! Moving our beautiful daughter, Rachel, into her new dorm in Norelius Hall was an emotional experience. What made it go just a little bit smoother were the helpful arms of a variety of young Gustavus men. I never thought a pack of college kids could be so friendly! As soon as we rolled up in front of Norelius—or “Co-Ed,” as they call it—and Rachel stepped out of our stuffed car, our little sweetheart couldn’t lift a finger without a different burly young fellow offering to help her with a load.
I’ll admit, when I saw what Rachel chose to wear today, I wasn’t sure she didn’t have her lil noggin completely “in the game” of unpacking. Her white denim shorts, flip flops, and crop top didn’t transmit the same practicality as my white mid-calf socks, the same focus as my New Balance shoes, or the same work-hard play-hard attitude as my “Gustavus Dad” t-shirt. But with the help of the generous men of the Gustavus Class of 2018, we were able to get Rach moved in with plenty of time to spare.
The athletes seemed to be the most interested in helping our Rachel out. One football player, after single-handedly carrying her mini-fridge up the stairs, even offered to “bring over some bottles” to help stock it up. And after I had been struggling with Rach’s BedLoft for a long while, a hockey player dropped by and asked if he could come by later to help our little honey bun “move that bed around a bit.” This father’s heart was so moved by their genuine interest! All of our angel’s helpers were also welcoming enough to give up their cell phone and room numbers for her to contact them at any time, and were keen to know if Rach would be “gettin’ down” at “The Dive” (a traditional Square Dance held each year) later that night.
After the friendly hockey player’s kindly offer, I thanked him for helping protect my little girl. He replied so humbly, commenting that he “always uses protection with girls like her.”
I’m so grateful our baby chose a school with young men who see in her what her Daddy sees: an innocent, brilliant beam of sunlight who deserves all the affection in the world!