The College Years

Recently, my husband and I took our son on his first college visit.

Kinda surreal, to be honest, as he was born just a couple years ago. Or so it seems anyway.

But I digress.

Yes, it was Spring Break and we packed our bags and prepared our son for what was to come. What to look for, what to ask, what to consider.

He wants a school where it’s warm. Not too big. Lots of sports.

A little different from my many-years-ago approach when I applied to colleges no further south than Upstate New York. The bigger, the better. I had no idea what a Big 10 school was.

Such is the apple and the tree in our family.

Of course, our Spring Break trip brought back memories of my own college years. Significant years, indeed, in a person’s life. Living away from home for the first time for many. Making decisions about our future – what we want to study, what we want to “be.” Who we are.

When I work with clients who went to college, I am sure to include a reflection of that time in their autobiographies. How did they settle on their major? Did they make lifelong friends or passing acquaintances? What extracurricular activities drew them in? Was romance a part of their life?

What did they learn, outside the classroom, that informed who they became?

And if my clients didn’t go to college, we discuss what path they took instead. Sometimes it’s the military or a job or a marriage. We talk about what they did immediately after high school and what they learned about themselves now that academics did not fill their days.

I don’t know where my son will end up college-wise, but I do know that those years will be profound for him – academically, emotionally, and socially. Those years are profound for all of us. Often, they serve as the proverbial fork in the road, where the path we select, as Robert Frost says, makes “all the difference.”

Please let me know if you’d like my help sharing your story.