This time of year, parents are sharing the college acceptances of their young adult's successes through social media, personal interactions and in the office place. We often view their success as a direct correlation to our success as parents. Thank GOD they got in! Check that stressor off our list.
But many parents are not talking about what they are experiencing. Their child has decided they do not want to attend college. They've been accepted, may have received scholarships and it may even be their first pick. I work with clients, more and more it seems of late, that have gone to college only to return home in a self-defeated state. They probably were never ready to go in the first place but the fear of disappointing their parents often times is what pushes them to try. But unfortunately, their heart was never in it.
I read this blog published by Grown & Flown this month and it struck a chord which I felt should be shared. The honesty, vulnerability and sadness this parent expresses is a testament to wanting to open up the conversation.
I know as a parent of a child in college and one in high school, I see how worn out they are from all of the expectations to check a box. Students are finishing high school exhausted. Absolutely exhausted! But what I hope for every young adult I'm blessed to get to interact with is they know their journey is long. That it's okay, and actually very healthy, to advocate for your future. We, as parents, have given you the tools and the hard part is trusting we've done our job. Taking a year off to "assess" is fine. But my hope is that during that time, reflection and open and honest conversations are occurring about finding their paths.
Education comes in many different forms. College...work...volunteering...gap years...struggling. Yes, struggling. My sincere hope is that during this time of reflection, they reach out for formal help, if it applies. I'm having so many calls from parents whose young adults are floundering. And as parents, our mission in life is to help guide. Because we, as parents, don't truly get to "check off" the stressor until we see our children happy.
We are always here to help.