You can imagine the empty nesters and soon to be empty nesters calling, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO about sending my kids to college?”
I believe universities, educators, physicians, are really trying to make it safe. STILL, this is your child’s life. I don’t mean to sound dramatic and you probably already know it. There is no guarantee in this decision.
I believe each family knows their child better than anyone. What is realistic, not fantasy, not denial, when it comes to expectations of young adults living on college campuses? Social distancing, mask, not sharing beer and food, no handholding, no hugging, well, you know all this and so do they.
Another challenge is the nighttime. What will there be to do on campus, and in their dorm, or apartment? Weekends after hours of classes and focusing, what is open and what is possible when dealing with a complex and unexpected Covid? What transportation is safe and available?
You know the images of how college life was and all it’s advantages. You just don’t know nor does anyone really know, life on college campuses today.
Parents are scared their children will take GAP YEAR, but never go to college. They fear their kids won’t get as good a job if no college degree or delays in getting that degree. Some parents are thinking graduate school is a good idea because jobs are limited. Kids couldn’t get internships this summer. They were so bored, lonely, and deeply frustrated. Anxiety and irritability showed up more than before and for good reason. This has been a really, really hard time.
You know all this. You know how to be there for your kids. I am wondering if you are making time to be there for YOU? This is not how you thought parenting would be.
I think it is a little bit helpful to know your kids and you are not alone in this deep uncertainty and financial crisis. During our group discussion, many times you heard,” OH ME TOO. I FEEL LIKE THAT EVERYDAY. I CAN’T GET CLARITY on this decision. I AM SO SO SAD about my kids not having the college life they dreamed of having and they worked so hard to get into these colleges. How can they fall in love in college like they hoped? They won’t be in sports or theater together? How will they really get to know each other if mostly they are isolated? Is it better online, then? I am so mad about this whole virus. It kills people. Gone. “Tears fell and the word, GRIEVING was unanimously said. We are all grieving for what can’t be and what is being lost.
I feel for your kids and you, the parents. When you love someone, you want his or her dreams to be lived. You would do anything. I am sure they know this about you.
I wish you all the best in this decision. I am here to listen and support you during this unexpected and uncertain journey. A reminder, it is ok to change your mind along the road of traveling uncertainty.
Take good care. This will not last forever,
Natalie Caine, M.A. email@example.com