5 Things I Want My Kids to Know before They Go to College
- Laura Polk Author
- 2016 1 Jun
People say it goes by too fast, but I never believed them until it happened to me. In the young days of motherhood, it was a struggle to get from one day to the next. To manage sleep, and feedings, and diapers, and… there’s a reason we are young when our kids are. Now, as if I blinked and it were here, my daughter is entering her senior year in high school. And while I’ve done my best to prepare her up to this point, there are certain things that I want to make sure she knows before she leaves home. Things I haven’t yet told her. So here goes:
Your Faith Will Be Tested
Though I’ve toted you with me to church, and Sunday school, and everything I thought might benefit your faith, in the end your faith is your own. At some point in the very near future, it will be tested. And you will have to decide what you believe. This may happen in a college classroom, in a new church you try, or simply by people you meet who don’t share your beliefs. Be prepared so you aren’t surprised. Spend time thinking about where you are in your faith walk, and where you want to be in the next few years. So that when your test comes, you’ll know where to go whether you feel you passed or failed it. Hint: You can’t fail in your faith.
Know Your Strengths
Remember that time I tried to force you to love art because I love it so much? Yeah, that was all me. Sorry. I’ve since realized that you are your own individual with unique gifts and amazing talents that, quite frankly, feel the exact opposite of mine at times. That’s a good thing. We need people in our lives who differ from us in order to grow ourselves. Don’t lose sight of the things at which you excel. But, mostly importantly, don’t lose sight of the things that fascinate you. Choose a path in which you are seriously fascinated and intrigued and your future job will not be a job at all, but a pleasure and something you truly enjoy. I fell into that path by accident, and I’m so grateful.
Make Time for Fun
I want you to excel in college. And by that, I mean get a degree that will allow you to chase your dreams. But, quite honestly, you will have to decide how much to push yourself. I won’t be there to remind you. Not that you’ve needed reminding in the last years of high school. You’ve got this. What you may not have is the knowledge that you are about to enter the most fun moments of your life. Don’t lose focus on why you are there, but please, enjoy your new found freedom and the joy that comes with launching into your own life. You’re ready. You can do this. Enjoy the ride.
Just Take the Next Small Step
There will be moments in college that overwhelm you. It may be a class that is way above your head, or a test that you prepare for days and still fail, or simply being away from home. It’s scary starting out; I won’t lie. You will begin to doubt yourself. When that time comes, just take the next small step. Get out of bed. Study for the next test. Hang out with your friends to fight loneliness. This will be the first of many small steps in life that you will have to inch forward in.
My Days of Parenting You Don’t End Now
If I could have slowed it down, I would have in a second. Except that I know that while you are moving on to a new period in your life, so am I. Soon, we will move into a deeper friendship as you begin to grow into an independent adult. But, I’ll always be your mom. No matter how old you are, no matter where you go in life or who you choose to go with, I’m still here waiting for you to need me. I’ll always be the shoulder you can lean on, the arms that will hold you, and the heart that will never stop loving you no matter what. Remember that. Even when you think you’ve outgrown it. Because one day you'll look back and see that you never will.
Launching our kids out into the world is hard. I’m pretty sure this last year of high school for my daughter will result in me crying over every single “last” we experience together. But, this is what we are called to do as parents. To prepare them to the best of our ability so that they can successfully leave and begin their own lives. Make sure they are prepared, not only with the day-to-day things like knowing how to do their own laundry, but with the deeper heart issues that they will soon face.
Laura Polk is a writer, speaker, and textile designer residing in North Carolina with her three children. Since becoming a single mom, her passion to minister to this group has led her to encourage successful single mom living through The Christian Single Mom on Facebook. Follow her journey through her blog or get a glimpse into her quirky thoughts and inspirations for design and writing on Pinterest.
Publication date: June 1, 2016