9 Lessons For Visiting College Offspring

small_4974012671-1A Metamorphosis

The college application process, the decision, the drop off – I found resources for these milestone events but what about the first visit, two months later, where you want to squeeze your child to death, pinch their cheeks and go back to the good old days? Well, the guidebook has prematurely ended and you are now mining this one on your own. The first visit to my daughter was precipitated by a virus that turned into a bacterial infection and maybe mono. The sojourn turned out to be an eye opening experience, so I thought I would share what I’ve “learned and lost along the way” now that I’ve been to the other side and persevered:

  1. You Are Not Their World Anymore – You pulled out all the stops and halted your obligations for this emergency visit. Don’t expect the offspring to do the same, there’s class (even when you are sick, most professors don’t allow more than three absences), projects, lectures and prefigured lunch plans to tend to. Though some time can be carved out, be warned you will not have your offspring’s undivided attention.
  2. You do not belong in a dorm! – Does a cat belong in a fish tank? Can a squirrel live under the sea? That’s Sandy on SpongeBob – that’s TV. Get out fast! Yes, you will want to see the room you shopped for and set up, scary prelude here, but be warned if your offspring wasn’t tidy at home don’t expect a metamorphosis. No worries that bug is not your offspring (Kafka reference) it is just a bug.
  3. Don’t do laundry! – I considered it since I had the time and she had class. It’s so wrong but felt so right – until I was shooed away and advised that she will take care of it on the weekend.
  4. Refer back to point number 2 – You don’t belong there!
  5. Don’t Overstay Your Dorm Welcome – It’s nice to meet friends and they seemed happy to meet me but I didn’t overstay my welcome, its plain awkward and let’s face it there is no, and I mean no place you will feel older so refer to point number 2 again!
  6. Acceptance is OK – Okay, she was sick and full disclosure, I washed her flatware and dishes, threw out trash and helped make her bed (she is wearing a brace since an easel fell on her hand) but that is where I stopped. I left with the feeling that laundry may not get done and that the bed may not be changed for a while and I was okay with that – refer to point number 2 again!
  7. Get Back To Civilization – I’m being honest here; it felt good to get out of there and back to my hotel so I may just skip the dorm next visit.
  8. The Denouement – your offspring will likely hug you maybe kiss you, depending upon the virus situation, and walk away. That’s right walk away, you’re not in Kansas anymore, I mean nursery school where you were “oh so needed.” Your baby has carved out a life and will walk away and so will you. Cue, for some tears.
  9. Final Metamorphosis – And it’s okay, refer to point number 2 you were a visitor and soon the light bulb will go off: offspring has left the nest and it’s okay. Now the metamorphosis is on you.

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/robaround/4974012671/“>Robert Burdock</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com“>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/“>cc</a>



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