One of the many joys of being able to attend so many of our New Student Receptions is having the chance to talk to students (both incoming and upperclassmen/women) as well as their parents.  It is always interesting to hear our students’ perspective, particularly because as an adult, it is easy for me to forget what it feels like to be 18 or 20 and easy to forget the kinds of things that seem so important at that age.

I have to remind myself sometimes that despite their poise, and their intelligence, and all the things that make them seem very grown up, our students are still developing into the people they are going to be.  “Emerging adults” is a term that gets thrown around for college-aged kids sometimes.  They are in the process of growing up, becoming independent, discovering themselves and their interests/passions/values.   Still figuring it out.

And growing into who you are going to be as an adult can be exciting, confusing, contradictory, exhilarating, scary, overwhelming, awesome.  Maybe all of the above.  Depending on your relationship with your student, it might be helpful to acknowledge that, and let your son/daughter know this is just part of the road to adulthood.  Talk about some of the changes and transitions college life brings.  And remind them you are always there for support and love.

Your students will all have their own internal compass, and I have no idea what their ‘True North’ will be.  I found a bunch of quotes (below), mostly about happiness, simplifying life, being true to yourself.  They may or may not resonate with you, or your students.  But over a cup of coffee or a long car ride, this might be an interesting conversation to have and a good listening moment.  What are the ideas you can always fall back on?  For direction, for guidance, for inspiration, for comfort, for happiness, for your wellbeing?

— by Betsy Chapman



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