It’s that time of year again. Students are heading back to school. Students of all ages are currently experiencing the adjustment period between having a summer of freedom and now being forced into the daily routines found in academia.
This is an adjustment period experienced by students and parents alike. I graduated from college this past May and know all too well the bittersweetness this period of transition lends. The sweetness comes with the reconnecting of school friends, the exploration of new knowledge and the personal and intellectual growth that comes with another year of school.
Joe Heller, in his recent editorial cartoon, depicts the bitterness brought on by going back to school. Many parents, including my own, have a hard time letting go. They require what seems to be constant communication –- emails, daily phone calls, texts, weekly Skype sessions and even the occasional smoke signals.
Communication is much easier and more accessible today, but is that necessarily a good phenomenon? The days of going off to college to find yourself and come into your own person are gone. Well, maybe not gone completely, but at least amended.
With vast technological advancements, parents are becoming more and more involved and connected. Decide for yourself if this constant communication is nurturing or over-the-top.
Personally, that is one aspect of academia that I do not miss.
Here is a quick list of do’s and don’ts to keep parents and students connected while still allowing for some independence:
Do: Call your parents once a week to keep them updated. Parents appreciate knowing that they are missed.
Don’t: Avoid your parents’ calls, emails or texts.
Do: Write your child a letter. Receiving good, old-fashioned mail always brightens your student's day.
Don’t: Text or call your child asking, “What are you doing?” “Where are you now?” or “Who are you with?”
Do: Plan trips to visit your child once a semester.
Don’t: Visit every weekend between now and the holiday break in December.
Do: Give real updates of what’s going on in your life while on the phone with your parents.
Don’t: Mindlessly fill your conversations with a slew of “yeahs,” “uh huhs” and “yeps.”
Have a great start to your week and enjoy the sweet side to the start of the school year.