The New Year has Begun!
This past weekend, all across the country, emotions were piqued! The culmination of so much planning, so much running around, so much hope and expectation came to fruition as new students moved in to residence halls. Parents, students and volunteers carried box after box to this little space that will now serve as “home away from home.” Even students who don’t live on campus sense the energy around getting emotionally and psychologically ready to begin the college experience. The excitement is palpable, as is the anxiety.
As you assess your own emotional state, be aware that students have their own uncertainties. As you talk with your student about her new experience, be mindful that what you are feeling is not the same. Be aware of ways in which you may be conveying your fear or loneliness in ways that may not be helpful to your student.
The college experience is one full of questions – and not just questions from professors. Many of these questions are connected to student’s exploration of self-identity. Over the next couple of weeks students are, in one form or fashion, asking questions such as:
- Is this the right place for me?
- Can I make a difference here?
- Will people like me?
- Who can I trust?
- Who am I becoming?
I would encourage you to err on the side of curiosity rather than inquisition: asking open questions that promote dialogue, helping your student explore new layers of his self-identity. It is time and energy well spent!