Well, today was the day I had been dreading for some time now … the first day back to work after a lengthy break from the everyday. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, though. My co-workers took pretty good care of me. The only backlog I really had was the onslaught of email, but that was to be expected.
This time, back to work was a little more emotional than normal. I got used to being off work, kind of thinking of it as a practice run for retirement. The real emotion came yesterday when I helped my daughter move into her college dorm. Don’t get me wrong, I am SUPER excited for her to be going to college. I think it is going to do wonders for her! She will do well in her new surroundings.
It’s not her that I’m worried about. It’s me.
As I head into the second half of life, I share the same emotions that so many parents feel after watching one of the kids leave the nest. Joy, excitement, and anticipation, but also wonder, worry, and a bit of hand wringing.
As a now empty-nester, questions begin to arise. What now? What’s my purpose? Did I do enough? Can I do more?
It’s easy to feel that you’re not needed anymore. One of your biggest jobs in life, raising your child, is nearing its completion. You hope you have instilled your values and gone over your safety concerns with your student. The same things that have helped compel them to success, can also be their undoing.
We all know teenagers often feel invincible and think bad things won’t happen to them. Well, that same overconfidence and naivety all too often lead to dangerous situations.
Better Safe Than Sorry
U.S. News & World Report lists six ways to stay safe on campus:
- Know what the campus offers in terms of safety. Campus rides, emergency phones, or other students that will walk with you to your destinations are all great safety measures.
- Talk to your child about walking in groups. The old adage of strength in numbers still holds true.
- Staying connected via the school’s emergency notification system. Dangers can quickly be relayed by a centralized messaging system.
- Don’t let your guard down. No matter how comfortable you feel, don’t walk around on campus alone.
- Know the school’s emergency phone numbers. Program the school’s safety hotline into your phone. Also, know where the emergency phones are located on campus.
- Be safe off campus as well. Make sure to check the back seat of your car before getting in and also make sure to lock your dorm room door.
College should be a fun, life-changing, and educational experience and will be if the student follows a few simple safety precautions along the way. A little safety can go a long way to turning that college life into an experience of a lifetime!