Greek philosopher Heraclitus is reported to have said, ”There is nothing permanent except change.” Over 2500 years later, the only thing that hasn’t changed is the truth of his statement.
As you send your student off to college, the word change takes on a new and very real meaning for your student — and for you. As parents, we may be so focused on the big changes our students will face that we forget (or deny?) that we are experiencing change as well.
Why is change so difficult?
Change is a word we use all of the time, but we may not have thought much about what it actually means. Definitions sometimes give us clarity. To change something is to make it different from what it would be if left alone, to transform or become different.
Change can be hard. It means a lack of certainty and predictability. Change is necessary for growth, but it is normal to fear that we won’t be able to cope with it. So if both you and your student are feeling a little apprehensive right now about what changes might be coming, know that you’re in good company. The first step is acknowledging that change is inevitable, and then you decide how you will respond to it.
Fight or flight — or go with the flow?
Often our first reaction to something that scares us is the fight or flight response. We fight it and try to stop it, or we take flight and try to run away. We may try to prevent change or we may try to avoid or deny that it is happening. Facing change as we send our student off to college is the first step toward making it a positive experience for everyone. Don’t fight it or ignore it. Make sure that you maintain a positive attitude and prepare to go with the flow.