Being here sounds passive, but sometimes it’s anything but. Big changes are happening in our family again and it involves all the feels. We dropped our youngest daughter off at college last week and while it was a seamless process it definitely looked a little different than it did when we took our oldest some years back.
Now onto the feels. Being here for this moment is hard. All of you parents who have left your kids in a new town, for whatever reason, understand the difficulty of saying goodbye. You understand that it’s the next chapter in their lives, but that does not make it any easier. Our job is quite literally to raise them up so they can fly on their own and yet our temptation sometimes is to grab onto one of their little legs and hold on for dear life.
She was a little homesick at first and deep down she was secretly hoping they would get sent back home. Home feels safe. Those of us who have done this before know that if they can just stick it out, adjust to this new life, make new friends and begin to take classes they will grow, they will thrive and they will indeed fly.
But it’s been a tough transition for these freshmen. It looks very different this year. There have been no big welcomes, concerts, dorm meetings or large group gatherings. In fact, they are discouraging even leaving your door open. She and her roommate are doing their best to stay busy and follow the guidelines, but sometimes they feel a little isolated. Fortunately, she has been able to hang out, have dinner and explore the campus with some of her HS friends who are in the same situation. It has helped bridge the gap from home to college and after a couple of days she was pretty happy. In fact, she really hopes they don’t get sent home! I hope she continues to feel that way as she begins her classes this week.
I’m not going to lie though, the stress over sending our youngest daughter off to college has felt different this time around for us, too. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions and there have been more challenges, but the reality is NONE of us have launched a child in the midst of a global pandemic. Most of us have probably never moved our adult child into a dorm and wondered if they would be moving them out in a week. We don’t know if we did the right thing. We are just trying to do what feels right, right now. We are in uncharted territory and as the president of my daughter’s university stated, “you have a choice. You can either strictly comply with all of the health protocols we have put in place to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus on campus or you can face that very real possibility that your lack of compliance could be responsible for ending on-campus operations.”
I will admit, it’s more than slightly scary that 20,000+ 18-22 year-olds are responsible for whether they get to stay on campus. I’m not a betting woman, but if I were, I’d say I’ll get to see her again real soon!
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G