posted August 12, 2012 12:16 PM by Julie Steenson
Yes, I am a GSLIS student, but first, I am a Mom, and so the purpose of this post is to give you a parent’s perspective as you head off to grad school.
My daughter is heading to the University of Rochester for graduate school, and at the time this is posted, my husband should be safely seated behind the wheel of the Penske truck, and my daughter’s room at home will be empty, and some of my furniture will be missing. I will have an empty nest, and I am not sure how I feel about that.
If you are 25, you probably don’t really care about how I feel about it, and that is okay, except your mom probably feels this way, too, as you make your big decisions to travel cross-country or around the corner to pursue your librarianship dreams.
What my daughter and I learned this summer is that we are both stressed about the big changes, both excited about the big changes, and both eager for them to happen... But for different reasons. You probably know better how SHE is feeling (feel free to tell me in the comments section!), but what I am feeling is that this is THE BIG FINAL EXAM of my parenting career. Is she ready? Did I remember to teach her everything? If something doesn’t go right for her, could I have done something different to have helped her?
We all make mistakes growing up and pursuing our dreams, no matter how old we are…My poor mother! I am not sure how she survived my twenties! What I didn’t realize, though, until now is that while she was shaking her head, she was also probably second-guessing herself and wondering if she had taught me all I needed to know. I hope that as I watch my daughter embark on her own adult life, I remember what it is to be 22 years old. I hope that if I offer unsolicited advice, she remembers that it comes not only from a place of love, but from a place of second-guessing – like changing your answer a few times during the exam because you just aren’t sure you have it right. So be patient with your parents…we only want what is best for you. We are your flight instructors and you are flying solo for the first time – it is kind of like watching ourselves.