Here we are at the threshold of college. While our son has a specific idea of what he wants to study, he needs some fine-tuning to finalize a specialty within his major, but only college classes will put a definite answer to that; here, we are touring college campuses and the surrounding areas.
I must say it is exhilarating, overwhelming, scary, and sad all at once. However, I have been looking at this from my eyes. My adult eyes. Not my son’s eyes. That is either a plus or a terrible detriment, depending on which side you are looking at it from.
I have caught myself thinking and looking at life, at least those last few months, from my point of view instead of trusting the process that my child needs to live his life, not me imposing my life on him.
A different approach for me that I must implement or I will be on losing this battle. Why do I call it a battle? Simple, he has his life to live. I have already lived mine. His experiences need to be his, not mine. My approach is from someone that has lived life and needs to let go. He needs to spread his wings and take flight.
Scary. I am petrified. As a parent in today’s society, it is scary. Things have changed so much in the last couple of decades. What was dangerous while growing up is baby talk compared to what is happening now. The wolf is ready to take you in faster than we can think. Or, is it me seeing it that way, or what is going on around my son is normal to his life?
Absolutely exhilarating for our son. All the hard work he has put into his learning, all the late-night studying are coming to a standstill and fruition.
Looking at schools that will provide him the academic challenges and education that he is thriving to receive. So many schools and so many programs. That is the only conversation that he and his friends are having. Those are the only conversations that we are having of late as a family too.
He is bombarded with letters inviting him to look at the campuses, campus tours, open houses, health, and safety, virtual as well, and apply.
Of course, we as parents, receive all sorts of communication from the office of admission, admission counselors, residence halls, financial aid housing. At this point, a campus visit is a must.
He has a pretty good idea of which colleges he will apply to. Cannot wait for the personalized visit and the information session.
Yes, quite exhilarating indeed for him.
Wonderful to see high school prospective students visiting all those beautiful campuses and taking walking tours.
A lot of that, for sure. And I can say this is all of us are feeling it. Having the prospect of your child so far from home is scary. Is he ready for the world? Is the world ready for him? Have we, as parents, given him all the tools that he will need? How would the world embrace him and take him in? How fast would he make friends at his new home away from home? Would he be happy? Would any of his friends attend the same college?
I have anxiety just writing this. I wish I could keep him in the cocoon of protection. But for now, I must let go. I still see him as my baby boy that still holds my hand and cuddles with me. He is my baby. Therefore, overwhelmed, I surely am.
Colleges come in all sizes, and we have been looking from small to large campus life. I am lost just walking around a small campus tour. He comes from a very close-knit school. He takes it all in with stride and happiness.
Looking around and seeing all those happy faces, my son’s age, makes me feel good. He can see him walking about campus happy, chatting with friends on the lawn. Working on projects in labs and spending hours in the library.
Student life is been creating right under my eyes with the tour of campus.
He has his questions, and with each school we visited, I can see him going through his list of pros and cons, and I can see him formulating his essay mentally. The choices are narrowed down, and he is happy. He is changing right under my eyes, and I see that our days until we will be the parents that will say goodbye to him at college are numbered.
I am asking myself those questions: What do I fear the most? Him leaving home? Or being without him? Tough questions, but as I dig deeper, the fear is on me. I fear all the feelings he takes as exciting, meeting new friends, new life in a new town.
But looking back, I remember how excited I was to leave home and start my own life. My own place and my new surroundings. I can see why that sounds so thrilling to him. Backing away from my scary stand, I am thrilled that all this does not scare him at all, but the contrary.
I should not let the daily news play havoc with my feelings. Every bit of negative news, and lately most of that has been predominant, sends me in fear land.
Therefore, letting go is hard. However, seeing him grow into the man that he will be is most exhilarating to be part of it. We are truly blessed to see it and be part of it.