Shout out to Brian from HotM and Writing from the Heart with Brian for a story Wednesday about the emotions of taking his youngest to college. It reminded me of a post I wrote about saying good-bye:
First I wrote about 7 tips for parents on Move-In Day. At the end I wrote: “I made it through the day without tears–mostly. It was a long, busy and tiring day. When my husband and I stopped for lunch — alone — and I realized that we were truly alone — the tears ran down my cheeks. I wiped them off and prepared myself for battle for the next stop at Target. When, it’s time to say good-bye — well, I’ll tell you how that goes another time.”
So, how did it go when we said good-bye?
We had planned to stay until Sunday. Move-In day had been Thursday. We wanted to be around for a few days in case she needed us. She wanted us there on Thursday, but by Friday — not so much. It began to make sense for us to leave. We didn’t want to hang out and wait to see if she wanted us around. It didn’t make us feel good and we weren’t enjoying ourselves exploring the city that much. We had a long drive ahead of us, too. So we went out for an early morning walk and talked about how we’d let her know that we felt it was time to leave.
She texted us at 7 a.m. Saturday.
It was time to say good-bye. We walked over to her dorm. I took a deep breath. I said a prayer to be strong.
“Do not cry. I can do this,” I repeated in my head.
She opened the door, I wanted to say something profound and loving. Something she’d remember — but I said nothing. My husband said a few things and I nodded my head.
I opened my mouth, my voice cracked and wavered. At this point I cannot remember what I was trying to say.
“Mom! Mom! Stop it!” she said. “Don’t!”
She held my face in her hands, like I was the child. “It’s going to be okay.”
Tip: Make it short and quick.
Bill and I walked out of her room into the bright cool air that is Utah. We walked all over campus for two hours and I felt much better — amazed at what a strong beautiful woman we had raised.
Here’s an update:
What tips do you have for saying good-bye to your loved ones — whether it’s college or pre-school?
The house I grew up in from second grade on. No we didn’t have a blue garage! What were these people thinking!
I grabbed the front of the house photo from Redfin.
After my aunt and I left Robe Valley and my mother’s ashes, we drove to my hometown, Snohomish, Wash. During our journey we detoured up Lord’s Hill to my old house that I lived in from second grade until I left for college. My mom sold it after “the divorce.” It was too expensive for her to keep up on alimony payments.
We stopped for lunch at Andy’s Fish House. The Pacific Northwest has the best seafood. I had chowder, salad and a piece of cod. My aunt had fish and chips. It was delish!
My nephew played Moonlight Sonata and Für Elise as a tribute to my mom. He used his Covid shutdown days to learn piano!
My aunt and I spent the night at SeaTac airport after our adventure in Robe Valley and Snohomish. Next door to our hotel was 13 Coins which was a favorite memory of mine with my mom. My aunt said it was a place she and her husband frequented in the 1970s. Sitting at the counter is more exciting than in the booths, because it’s where all the cooking takes place.
My aunt shared a small scrapbook she made for my mom’s 70th birthday. This was a photo in it that I loved.
Thanks for taking a look at my week in the Pacific Northwest.
My pretty kitty Olive sitting on the back of a sofa. No, this photo has nothing to do with my post.
I saw an article that said that many college graduates regret their major. The number one regret was journalism.
I was Communications Major in Editorial Journalism from the University of Washington in Seattle.
I enjoyed the experience. During my last year of school I was assigned to be a reporter at a local paper. I reported to the editor and worked there five days a week. I turned in my articles to my professor to be graded.
Then, I went to the state Capitol and was assigned to a local paper as a stringer. I’d write three and four articles a day about the goings on at the state Capitol. We were a group of 12 journalism students living and working together.
When I got into the workforce I had a nice portfolio of news clips. I ended up in Public Relations and wrote stories and newsletters I was assigned. I soon found out it was a LOW paying job. Especially my first one. I was making less than $1,000 a month in the mid 1980s.
The article from CNN listed these majors as the ones graduates most regret:
I want to know what your thoughts are about cancelling student debt. The current administration is considering cancelling $10,000 per debt holder. Some are pushing for $50,000.
Personally, I believe a contract is a contract. If you cancel a loan for college, why stop there? Why not cancel mortgages, car loans and credit card debt? Of course, for those loans there is the option to file for bankruptcy. But not with student loans. Maybe that law should be overturned?
What does this say to those who chose to enlist in the military to help pay for their education? Or those who chose community college not to mention those who paid their loans? What about people who entered into trades like electricians, contractors, plumbers and hair dressers? Should they be paying for a doctor or teacher who has a ton of debt?
The point is the debt doesn’t magically go away. It gets passed on to the rest of us. Many universities have huge foundations. I’m not against the institutions forgiving debt. They could do it.
What do you think? If you disagree with me, please let me know what I’m missing. I truly want to know other points of view. What solutions do you suggest for overwhelming student loan debt?
I remembered a post I wrote years ago after reading LA’s post called “Do We Owe Kids College?” There’s an interesting discussion in the comments about whether or not parents are obligated to pay for their kids college or not.
The post I remembered is below. The stats are shocking of how many kids fail. I wonder if it’s gotten worse since I wrote this?
Why Do Kids Fail College?
I wonder why so many kids fail college? I was shocked to read a statistic from ACT that 50% of freshman students do not return for their second year. Then, 30% of those remaining, do not graduate within five years!
Why? What can we do to better prepare our kids for college? There is so much pressure on our kids to get into great schools.You’d think with the great expense, and all their work to get in, it would be a breeze once they are there. But, it’s not.
Here’s my list of why I think kids fail their freshman year:
Too many kids go to college. I do not think everyone should go. When I was in high school the majority of students did not continue their education past high school. They were able to get jobs, support themselves and their families without a college education. Today, a college degree has become the norm and standard. There are many kids who would be better served to work for a few years, and then decide if they want to go to college. By having everyone go, and not everyone is equipped to go, some kids are set up for failure.
High school doesn’t prepare kids for college. The work is often spoon-fed by teachers in little lumps of daily assignments and reading. Having a syllabus with a couple dates on it and no day-to-day requirements is more what college is like. It takes discipline, motivation and self-determination to not procrastinate, but to work and study in advance of deadlines.
We do too much. As helicopter, hovering parents, we are afraid to let our kids fail. We don’t let our kids learn from their mistakes. They need to have more chores, part-time jobs or something to do besides homework. Some of the crazy, heavy AP schedules don’t allow for real life experiences. Plus, some parents cater to their kids’ every needs—even to the point of helping them complete projects or assignments. My conversation with four-time Olympian and former University of Texas head coach Jill Sterkel included some great advice that you can read on SwimSwam here. She believes in letting kids work out their problems in a less high-stakes environment. We need to give them room to do this.
Millennials mature later, according to Kari Ellingson, Vice President at the University of Utah. I attended a talk by her at orientation with my daughter. I wrote more about her talk here. According to Ellingson, “It used to be people matured around 19, 20, 21. Today it’s 26, 27 or 28.” It’s no wonder they can’t handle the many demands of laundry, getting their own food, studying, etc. Maybe our kids are not mature enough to handle the responsibilities of college at age 18?
What can we do to help our kids be prepared for success in college? What do you think are the reasons why so many kids fail in college? I’d love to get your feedback.
I don’t sew. But I saw a youtube video on how to make a t-shirt quilt. I thought it would be a fun thing to do with the dozens of t-shirts my kids got during their lifetime of swimming. The team had shirts. They’d get t-shirts at big meets. Swim t-shirts were breeding in our closets.
I mentioned it to my son and he thought it was an excellent idea! I promptly forgot about it. A month before he left home he reminded me I had better get started on the quilt.
The last time I visited the kids was in February. My son’s girlfriend had asked if I could fix the quilt. I said sure — without looking at it. I brought it home with me in a duffle bag.
Yikes. What can I do to save this?
I made a quilt for my daughter when she went off to college, too. Then there were still an abundance of Piranha Swim Team of Palm Springs t-shirts hanging out in drawers and closets that I made a third quilt. I made it for my daughter but she doesn’t have room for it, and didn’t particularly like it. She gave it back to me.
I’ve decided to give this one to my son — after I cover up a few of my daughter’s squares, with ones I salvaged from his tattered and torn quilt.
Do you have a supply of t-shirts that you don’t know what to do with? If so, click on this LINK to make a t-shirt quilt. If I can do it, you can too. Like I said, I didn’t know how to sew when I started the first one.
Not to get too morbid, but the past two weeks have been hellish. I feel my last week’s posts have focused on death. But it’s what is happening in our lives. I feel raw from the sadness of losing our friend Mark, and then I got a phone call late Friday night from a fellow swim mom. It’s not like her to call me. We haven’t talked much since our daughters graduated college with our swim parenting days behind us.
She started the call by saying, “I have something awful to tell you, but it’s not about Kat or Megan.” Kat and Megan are our daughters who swam together at the University of Utah. It was about one of their former teammates. He committed suicide.
I was getting texts and calls. Everyone was worried about my daughter and how she’d take the news. She was at work, and I asked everyone to talk to her once she got off work. In the end, her coach from Utah made the call and they cried together. Then my daughter went to her brother’s house and sat with his girlfriend. I’m so thankful and grateful to have them so close.
I am devastated for the loss of this young man of 24. He was the type of person everybody wanted to be around. He was tall, good looking, smart, funny. He had a hearty laugh that was contagious. He was so polite and well-mannered that when we went out to dinner with him, he’d stand when I got up to use the bathroom.
I’ve heard from swim moms that his teammates are devastated. Nobody had a clue that life was less than perfect for him. Nobody knew that he was suffering. There weren’t any signs.
I cannot imagine how his family is doing. I enjoyed his parents so much and often sat with them at swim meets beginning in high school through college. His older sister is one of my daughter’s best friends and the three of them spent tons of time together.
I asked my husband, “How much pain are we able to take?”
This makes me worry about the mental health of our youth more than ever. I want to know if social media has made depression and anxiety worse? There’s a difference of three years between my son and daughter. Social media was only MySpace when my son was in middle school and early high school. By the time my daughter was that age, social media was so much more prevalent and popular. Is this a result of growing up on screens?
I had this conversation with my daughter before this tragedy occurred. We were talking about anxiety and depression. She thinks that people her age and younger are much more open to getting treatment. And that they are more open to talking about mental illness. She doesn’t think social media is causing more young people to have depression or anxiety. She thinks the numbers are going up because more kids are getting treatment.
I tend to think it may be a combination of many factors, social media included, and her generation being more open to talk about mental health. I think I’m searching for a reason. Something to blame for the loss of this young man’s life.
What is your opinion? Do you think mental illness in teens and early 20-year-olds is increasing? Or are they more open to discussing it? What do you see as the causes?