I’ve been in a bit of a stupor the past few weeks as my youngest is getting ready to graduate from high school and preparing to leave home for college in the fall. It alternates between rambling on and on about scholarships, financial aid, school choices, to just standing, staring off into space not able to speak because it’s a bit surreal that my baby girl is ready to make her place in the world. Not to mention, the constant feeling of being on the edge of a very long, very ugly cry.
Given that my current situation is what’s weighing on my mind right now it seemed natural to ask graduates what they want their parent to know and how that might differ from what the parents want their student to know. I posed this question to a group of college bound seniors who will graduate June 1, 2016. Some answers were funny, some sweet and reassuring but all in all do address some of our concerns as parents.
What is the one thing that you would like to tell your parent to help ease their mind and assure them that you are prepared and ready to go to college?
– Parker also assures his parents that “I’m not going to spend all my study hours playing video games! I promise! God!”
-Terry knows that “Uber saves lives.” Smart boy!
-J.J. says beer tastes gross and Parker adds that it goes through your system too quickly.
-Alexandria appreciates learning some basic life skills! “Thanks for teaching me how to do laundry!”
-Zachary tells us that his parent already knows his future college roommate. We’re assuming that is a positive statement.
-Simply stated Eli says “I got this!”
-Anizia thanks her parent for helping her become a mature, independent adult capable of taking care of herself.
-Ashton acknowledges the hard work it takes to be a parent. “I appreciate all the hard work and endless nights towards making me become the successful young lady I am today and I will not underestimate my gift and knowledge to surpass all obstacles.
-Bailey affirms that her parents have taught her well and helped her make good decisions and now she knows how to make good decisions on her own.
-Jonathan shares this “It’s time to for me to grow up in a new and unknown world. You have prepared me for this since I was being held in your arms. But it’s now time to find who I truly am. I will make mistakes, I guarantee it. But it’s you who has taught me to learn from every experience. So thank you.”
-Maddie adds with a smile emoticon that she is ready for this time in her life and reminds her parents that she will always be their little girl.
There are conversations that we parents all want to have with our graduates but somehow don’t seem to be able to do so without coming off as overbearing, nagging, or simply more involved than we are desired to be at this point in our students lives. So, graduating seniors, bear with your parents as we try to make sure we have taught you and told you everything that we feel like you need to know in the next few months before you leave home.
Your well-being and success in college is our only concern. We just need to know that you are going to be okay. We need to know that we did a good job raising you and that you are able to make good, intelligent, and safe choices. We need to know that you understand that you are going to college for a purpose, not just a party. Have fun but be smart and keep your studies your number one priority. We need to know that you feel equipped to handle most of the things we have always done for you – kept your schedule posted on the fridge, given reminders of your commitments, emphasized the importance of your schoolwork, handled your finances, filled out your forms, washed your laundry. We don’t want you to be scared of new experiences. We want you to make lifelong friends and we want to be confident in your ability to do so.
Ultimately, we hope you come out of your college experience a happy, productive adult ready to embark on a career that is meaningful to you and allows you to support yourself in the manner that you desire. That is all. – Gail