One of the wonderful things about being a college student is being able to reinvent yourself over the summer.  During the three months that you’re separated from your college friends, the opportunity for transformation exists – to return to school in the fall as a new and improved version of you.

We certainly saw this happen with Jennifer Lynn this summer as she did a “makeover” on herself during the three months she was home. Even though she and her friends Skyped regularly so any changes in appearance weren’t going to be a total surprise, I know she was looking forward to being greeted with shrieks of “You look amazing!!!” from her buddies.

It’s why makeover scenes are such a staple of rom-com movies. Who doesn’t love the confidence boost that comes from feeling…and being told by people whose opinion you value…that you look really, really good.

Thinking back on how the summer started, I don’t think Jennifer consciously set a goal of changing her appearance – it just evolved.

First, she began exercising. And I give her a lot of credit for her discipline to stick to with it. Though Jennifer grew up with a mother and an older sister who could fairly be described at gym-rats and in high school, she did stints in wrestling and cheerleading, she was never into ritual sweating. She would rather stay flopped on the couch, scrolling through Netflix.

But she didn’t. Instead, she faithfully squeezed in a run between her shifts at the Gap Outlet and her other part-time job as a social media videographer. Once she started seeing results – I would glance over to see her inspecting her new found abs in the mirror – motivation was a lot easier to come by.

As the summer progressed it became clear that Jennifer was intent on reshaping not just her physique but her whole “package.” A trip to a trendy eyeglass store in a hipster enclave in San Francisco yielded a pair of retro-chic spectacles and a visit to Kim, who’s been cutting the family hair for more than a decade, produced an adorable asymmetrical do. She knew she had found her look because strangers would spontaneously compliment her on her haircut.

While the young woman that Steve and I deposited at Pepperdine last Sunday was still our daughter, she was very much a creation of her own imagination – ready for her next adventure.

Watch out Shanghai.