While out raking leaves I had a flashback to last fall when I was getting calls and emails from our son about his college experience and frustrations. He reported the positives and was really trying to make the most of his choice, but the underlying feeling was that he needed something different.
Of course, the first reaction my husband and I had, and anyone we talked with, was that he just needed a different school. Initially we kept emphasizing all the reasons he should stay in school, finish the year, and look for places to transfer.
Why is it so hard to listen to our children?
Why is it so scary for us to have them veer from the “accepted path” even when they are not afraid?
I look back over the last year and am amazed at all that has happened. I am so proud that our child had the courage to follow his passion in the face of opposition from the powers that be, and us.
Once he made his decision, he called to inform us that he had made up his mind, lined up a job, and hoped we would support his decision. He was clear that he would follow his path even if we did not agree. I was grateful that he told us first, before social media, and kept us in the loop of his thinking.
Fall is a good time for mid-course corrections and reflection.
As college freshman head into the end of their first semester and high school seniors are madly filling out their applications, it is important to take some time to think about what you are doing and why.
I encourage students to talk with their parents.
And parents, please listen with an open mind.
And trust that they will figure out what they need to do.