So, when I started blogging a few years ago I decided to keep it all about admissions, higher ed, and professional in nature...nothing personal. But here I sit after a weekend with my family and I've been thinking about my experiences from the past few days. I watched my son put forth a fantastic effort playing ice hockey against much stronger teams during a weekend tournament. It really made me think about the things that we continually strive to instill in our children, and sometimes you have to actually witness something they do to really appreciate how they are growing and maturing. Ok, reality check...parents of high school seniors or college students probably have had numerous moments like this. However, I remain overwhelmed with pride and happiness for him. He showed a lot of heart, while never giving up and still having fun. Hmmm...shouldn't that be a lesson for us all?
So, all of these feelings got me thinking how parents must be feeling at this time of year. Their sons and daughters are hearing back from colleges and universities with offers of admission. For many, this represents a culmination of their efforts throughout high school (and earlier) in preparing themselves for college and life-long learning. For parents, it signals the beginning of a transition that will forever shape their child's life, as well as a new time them. Thinking about all of those hurdles, obstacles, and challenges that their children have persevered through must elicit such a strong sense of pride and accomplishment. From the time our kids are born we begin the 18 year march towards college: supporting their education, fostering their interests and passion, shaping their character and values, showing them love and compassion and understanding, and, yes, saving for college, too. What pride we should all feel when our kids become adults and begin their college career! In many ways, is it not also a reflection of us as parents?
For many years I remained true to the notion that the college search and decision process was solely a student-centered one. It's all about the student, right?! Parents merely existed on the periphery: asking questions, worrying about the cost and how far from home the school was. Well, in moments like this, I reminded that it's much more complex than that (yes, I definitely have known that fact for some time now). Parenting is not easy (big surprise, I know...someone get Brian Williams on the phone, we have breaking news). And, when you witness those moments of success and accomplishment, or when you child does something that reinforces that you are making a difference in their life, doesn't that make it all worthwhile and okay? You bet it does! So, take a minute to reflect on everything that got your child to this time in their life when they are preparing to begin college, and remember that you've made a difference. Well done.