Emptying the Nest
Yesterday we took my eldest off to college at her new University. It’s the first time she has lived away from home, and it’s obviously a pretty big milestone.
The University was trying pretty hard to be safe. Masks were required, they had scheduled times for move-in, each dorm room only has one person in it, I saw hand sanitizer everywhere. Students will also be tested every two weeks, and those positive will be quarantined at another dorm or will go home for the quarantine period.
I’m not thrilled with college going on, but at least the university is doing a lot of the right things. Although, even yesterday on move in, we were in close space with a lot of other families waiting for the elevator at the dorm. They had us in a line that snaked around the back of the elevator to the front, and there was zero distancing in a hot enclosed space. At least everyone had their mask on.
My daughter knows no one there except for a few people she has interacted with online. She did meet up with some of them, but they were going to a party where no one was wearing masks. My daughter went back to her dorm instead. She’s pretty damn smart.
Another parent shared a photo of a bunch of kids at the beach, and there didn’t appear to be a lot of safety there either. I’m pretty sure the kids are going to shoot themselves in the foot with all of this unfortunately. As we’ve seen with a lot of schools, it’s a breeding ground for the virus. For many of these kids, their first taste of freedom is going to make them forget about safety, and the results could suck.
One nice thing is that most classes are online, but those that need to be in person are, but with a lot of precautions. My daughter is a double-major in Dance and Communications. The dance stuff is what is in person, because you really can’t do that sort of thing online. She’ll be going to dance classes but taking a few other courses from her dorm room.
Having one of your kids leave the nest is always a little heartbreaking. My wife and youngest are both taking this fairly hard, but I’m trying to stay positive. I’m positive my daughter is going to do great things and do whatever she sets her mind to. I don’t really think of this as her leaving home, because this will always be her home. She just gets to experience the world on her terms, and I’m so excited for her.
So, for me, I’m not quite as sad as the others, but something happened this morning that hit a little hard. I got a survey that I filled out, and in it there was a question about how many people live in your household. For the first time in a long time, I had to put down three instead of four. That hit me out of nowhere and I had a good cry about it. I do and will miss her, but I’m so proud of the woman she is, and who she is striving to be. I know she can do anything and will make this world a better place.
I’m sure everything is going to be fine, but I still worry about her going through this change in her life in the era of COVID. Not only for her safety, but for her to have the true college experience. It’ll get there and her plan goes out three years, so hopefully next year when her second year starts, COVID will just be a shitty memory and not a way of life.
For now, the house will be a little quieter, and a little sad. But there is promise, there is hope, there is so much pride, and there will always be love.