My daughter will be a college freshman this year. Many of my closest friends’ children are going to college, too. For those of us with children headed to college, this is an important time of transition. It’s been a whirlwind year of college visits, applications, orientations, and final decisions. I see the kids’ excitement mounting. All of us parents are doing our best to let go.
This time reminds me of my own transition to college and all of the many firsts. I remember the excitement and the newness and how long it took to find my groove that first year at Wellesley.
When I graduated from college, I worked as a research assistant for one of my psychology professors. We studied students’ and alumnae’s memories of their college experiences. Interestingly, the memories clustered at the beginning of freshman year and the majority focused on social events. The second largest cluster was at graduation. We concluded that when we are in new situations and new environments, we look more to the people around us. We watch and try to learn from them how to behave and navigate something unfamiliar to us. Because we are unsure and learning, transition times stand out more in our memory.*
Those first few weeks in college still stand out to me and I know that transition times both planned and unplanned in my life have been some of the most memorable. Many were exciting as a I gained new skills and challenged myself. They were the most stressful when I feared the unknown, resisted changes and didn’t look to others for help.
Through Feng Shui, Reiki, meditation and traveling all over the world in spiritual programs, I’ve learned to flow more with changes and transitions. I look at challenges as opportunities to open up and learn and grow. I appreciate all of my teachers, family and friends who have guided me and I want to pass on what I’ve learned.
I’ve been giving thought to all of the firsts my daughter is going to encounter and how I can help her. I know she’s ready for all of the new experiences and people coming into her life. She has her wings and is ready to fly!
Many other families in our community are going through this transition. So, Yvonne Dunetz and I are offering “College Bound: A Rite of Passage Celebration” Thursday, July 24th from 10 am-3pm at YCD Holistic Healing in downtown Nashua. I’ll share with the students and parents, ways to set up their dorm rooms to ground them in the college environment and how to maximize small spaces. We’ll talk about their goals and expectations and ways to manage and navigate through all of the firsts they’re going to encounter. I’ll share insights and we’ll give parents some help in letting go. Yvonne will also lead a special blessing celebration. For more information and to register, please visit YCDHolisticHealing.com.
Wishing you a happy July and best wishes for peace and tranquility this summer.
In love and light, Lisa
*For more information on the research I did see Pillemer, David B., Picariello, Martha L., Law, Anneliesa Beebe, & Reichman, Jill, S. (1995). Memories of College: The Importance of Specific Educational Episodes. In David C. Rubin’s Remembering Our Past: Studies of Autobiographical Memory (pp318-337). Cambridge University Press.