My mom sobbed quietly for most of the four hour trip that hot August day many years ago. As their firstborn, as well as the first in the family to attend college, this was a new experience for everyone. There was very little that my parents could provide in terms of what to do, or what not to do, as they delivered me with most all of my belongings to the small college I would be attending five hours away from home.
Luckily I managed to be successful without any damaging scars. The voyage to college has changed over the years for many students and families. Oftentimes roommates have the whole summer to get to know one another via social media, Facetime, Skype, etc. Some schools have elaborate “camp like” 1st year orientations, or other mini orientations throughout the summer to get students acclimated to the college living experience.
While counseling, therapy, or mental health services continue to be a stigma in society, the truth is there are a staggering number of students who have been diagnosed with a learning disability, had many years of counseling, may have been on psychiatric medications, or have overcome various life obstacles who are or will be attending college. On some campuses, supports and services are easily accessible, while others may be more laborious. As a parent helping their student transition to college, you may need to help them navigate who or where to seek out help (you may also need to remind them to advocate for themselves since mom and dad will not be able to keep tabs so easily).
Here are some suggestions for parents to consider as their child is transitioning to college: Read the rest of this entry »
I grew up in a time, when it was totally fine to be a “latch key” kid for several hours a day. Growing up as the oldest of two of immigrant self employed parents, there were times when I did not see my parents a lot. I grew up with a lot of autonomy, independence, and responsibilities. I probably could have used some parental guidance too, especially as a teen.
Thankfully, there were no probation officers involved, trips to the ER, or regretful experimenting. What I did notice was that I spent a lot of time on the phone, just talking. Talking to friends that I had just seen at school, and friends who I no longer saw in class. As I began driving, I got to enjoy spending time at my friends’ houses. Often I would enjoy interacting with the parents, parents who spoke English, parents who went to college, parents who I thought were sooo coool. At the same time I also began to look up the youth leaders at my church, often college kids who I also thought were really cool. There were also favorite teachers, and other adult figures (parental figures) that had an influence on my upbringing.
Read the rest of this entry »
Summertime, for many, is synonymous with travel, especially the hours-long car trip. I took several trips this summer by car. Sometimes trips would take longer than expected and cause me to fantasize about flying by helicopter or the future of flying cars.
I’m sure I’m not alone on one the beauties of traveling by car: the GPS device. It ensures that we’ll get to our preset destination in a way without getting lost, or having to consult a “local” for directions, or having a paper map (remember those?). The GPS device allows me to know exactly when I will reach my end goal, as well as when I’ll need to make those turns to eventually reach my destination. It’s almost a clairvoyant device that keeps track of our short and long term goals on the road. Read the rest of this entry »