Picture thanks to Vecteezy
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The past weekend we dropped off our son at college. It is his second year, and this year almost all his classes are in-person, which of course made him very happy. You see last year everything was online and he did struggle with the classes. He told us that a lot of the time it was very difficult to get time with the professors, and even some professors hardly met with their students, they simply left a bunch of assignments for the students to do, without any real explanation most of the time, they simply watch videos on the subject and they were told to go at it. Of course, everything on campus was closed, I mean everything, but the funny thing was that we still had to pay for all these things that were not available to the students. I know there is maintenance and upkeep, but please full price should not have been the case. Besides the lockdown, and no events going on, my son was stuck in his dorm, I think a few times he told us he felt sad and just wanted to come home. Now, he did come to visit us on the weekends, most of the time, but a few weekends he did stay in his dorm; I think mostly because it was mid-terms or something like that, so it was better for him to just stay on campus.
We made sure to text him every day, whether it was simply a good morning or a good night, but me and his mom and sometimes both of us would text him just to let him know he was not alone and we were here. I honestly think this pandemic did its toll on my kids, at least my kids, and from what I saw it changed them in different ways; not necessarily good ways. My son, struggle with connection, he had told us that sometimes in his dorm he felt alone, and in some cases, he would play video games just to talk to his friends, instead of doing an assignment. He told us sometimes he could not get his head into an assignment and he struggled to get started. He found himself sometimes scrambling at the last minute to turn in an assignment, knowing perfectly well that it was not his best work. He did warn me that he did not get all A’s but so far, he had a 3.6-grade point average, which he said he would raise his in his junior year if all classes were in-person. I told him not to stress, to take each day as it comes, to tackle one assignment at a time, but follow through. I told him he was a smart young man and reminded him of all the times in High School where he had to work extra hard on some nights to turn in an assignment, but that he made it through – I told him, “You got this”.
My daughter on the other hand secluded herself, almost becoming anti-social. She did tell us that she tried to talk to kids on Zoom, but most if not all always had their Cameras off, so she never knew who was actually listening. She told me at the end of last year that she only made one new friend, and lost a few; she told me she literally only had two friends. She later tells me that it was ok, that she did not really care about making new friends, because the little she did see on Zoom was just a lot of drama, and that was something she was not looking for. I mean when we told her that she still had to wear her mask at school she was like ok with it because she did not want people to see her face – she did not care for it. So, this pandemic hit my daughter differently, it made her a bit anti-social. So far, this new year and with in-person classes, she is slowly returning to her old self – crossing my fingers. For now all I could do to make my daughter more positive about school is to continuously encourage her to participate in school. I tell her every morning to raise her hand to answer the questions, don’t worry about looking like a teacher’s pet, be you because you are a wonderful young lady, extremely smart, with a good head on your shoulders, and never forget that; I do remind her each morning and every night.
I might go overboard with hugs, compliments, and inspirational quotes with my kids and sometimes I could see them roll their eyes, but I know that they like it and I will never stop doing it. Because as long as I am breathing, I always remind them that they are good young adults, they are smart, they both have a good head on their shoulder, and they can do whatever they want because I believe in them and I will always do my best to be there for them when they need me. Yes, another school year for both my kids, I know this year will be better and I am so proud of them both. Actually, I want to send out “Best Wishes” to all students across our country, our world, whether you are in kindergarten, middle school, high school, or college – I wish you nothing but the best – “go get them”.
Thank you once again for your time and I leave you with this thought, “No matter how old your kids get, or even how long you’ve known your friends, co-workers, anyone for that matter, remind them each-and-everyday how special they are”.