“I can’t go back.”  That’s what she said….It was time for my daughter, a freshman in college, to return to school after Christmas break.  Four weeks is a long time to be away from your first experience living away from home for so long.  Well, my daughter went to school close enough to come home often the first semester, but that usually isn’t the case.  Anyway, she went into crisis mode two days before she was to return to her dorm and to college life.  She revealed to us that she had been stewing about not wanting to continue in her major and just couldn’t face going back.  What a shock.  We had no idea, none.  She never let on that anything was wrong. She had done well academically, seemed to enjoy her classes (or so we thought).  We did know she was having some difficulty adjusting to the college life.  Making friends was not so easy, her living situation was not so conducive to making new friends (quad style living is not so social after all), the cafeteria had little she could eat (she’s gluten intolerant), and it’s tiny, and being a city school it is kind of bleak.   Wow, I sure do paint a great picture huh?

Last weekend was rough to say the least.   My husband was away with my son on top of it all, so it was just me on the front lines dealing with my poor girl in crisis.  She didn’t know what she would turn around and study, and the day after I drove to the city and packed her room up with her (I thought the car would bust) she instantly panicked that she made the wrong decision. She just could not make up her mind.  She was so confused.  Is it any wonder?  These poor kids are faced with deciding the rest of their lives at 18.  I know we did too, but this predicament explains why so many kids come home freshman year, or change colleges or majors several times.  I had to help her understand that what she was experiencing was actually okay and a normal part of the growing process.  I was proud of her for being strong enough to realize that she wasn’t happy and for doing something about it instead of sticking it out miserably to just make us happy or because of what others may think.  These kids have  to take care of their needs and do what is good for them. Sometimes that means stepping back, taking a break, and giving themselves time to just figure it all out.

That’s what she is doing now.  She has already started a class at a local college and secured a job at a retail store in the mall that will keep her busy.  She is so much happier now at home with time to figure her future out, and that makes my heart happy.   All we want as parents is for our kids to be safe and happy.

Photo courtesy of  GK tramrunner229 assumed (based on copyright claims).    GNU Free Documentation License