The Empty Nest
Finally, all the tension of applications, interviews and examinations are over, the mass of form filling is complete and you are driving away from a university leaving behind a slightly nervous-looking new student.
- For them the nervousness will soon evaporate as Freshers/Welcome Week activities and the course get underway.
- If necessary, advice centres, tutors and counselling services will be on hand to provide help and support.
In fact it may well be that you find the transition harder than they do.
- A new student is embarking on an exciting adventure that will lead to new experiences and new possibilities.
- It will be a new beginning for you, too, in some ways, but it will also be an ending and a reminder that time is passing and a new phase of life is beginning.
- Don't under-estimate how long it will take you to adjust.
Then, just as you are settling into a new routine, discovering new things to do as family life takes up less time, the Christmas vacation arrives and you are all together again.
- Your son or daughter is the same person, a few months older, back in the same bedroom and abandoning clothes in the same place on the landing.
- But they will have moved on and grown up in subtle ways.
- You, too, are the same person but you will have moved on as well.
Keeping in touch will help.
- It probably won't be you who is first to get in touch, but keep the contact going as the distractions of term-time mount.
- However, regardless of how long or short the phone calls, texts and emails are, you can't say everything that could be said.
- Indeed, one thing you can be sure of is that you won't get told everything.
- That is probably just as well – it would only make you worry about them even more!
So, however hard you try, the chances are that both of you will behave as though the other hasn't changed a bit.
- They will expect their bedroom to be exactly as they left it and your routines to be the same as ever.
- You will expect them to behave just as they used to.