Dorms are usually not as nice as our kids rooms at home and sharing a room with another freshman who is not their ‘cup of tea’ can be a very valuable experiences. I learned that developing these ‘coping skills’ were all worthwhile dimensions of my child’s college experience; it was not my role as parents to FIX these things.
Going to college is an expensive endeavor. I learned that a budget was a good thing; a credit card was like a parental IV Drip. I also learned that there were no downsides to my child getting a job while she was at college.
I supported her right to eat, drink, and be merry. I bought her a meal card for the cafeteria her freshman year, but did not believe it was my duty to pay for Thursday Pub Nights. I learned that by her senior year, she was shopping, cooking dinners for her friends and washing dishes.
On a regular basis there were extra-curricular happenings like ski trips, sorority auctions, NY weekends, and LF sales in Boston. I continued to learn that it was okay to say NO and her world would not come to an end.
The Bible says, ”It is more blessed to give than to receive” When it comes to texting and calling, I learned that it was better to receive. I was a valuable resource when Noa was walking to and from classes and needed to look busy; I was always blessed when she texted me with updates or a simple i luv u.
Terrible news inevitably arrives. I learned that when Noa called with distressful announcements, I had to listen, not overreact and refrain from attempting to solve her problems for her.
There were times when Noa wanted to quit things like Arabic class or her sorority. I learned, even when I felt the pain in her voice, to encourage her to pursue what she set out to do. In the short run, it would have been much easier to enable her temporary impulses, but in the long run better to support her struggle.
There is a huge difference between being honest and constructive. I learned that ‘Honesty is (not always) the best policy’.
My daughter has great aspirations for a challenging career in foreign lands. I learned that the greatest gift I can give my daughter is to support her dreams; even the ones that are statistically not in her favor.
There were times when I disagreed with Noa’s choices. I learned to pick my battles; I had to decide what issues were worth fighting for and which ones were not.
Watching my daughter receive honors as she accepted her diploma was a once-in-a-life-time, most remarkable happening and I learned that TIME FLIES very QUICKLY!
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