The Kids Are Alright

ETRC.2

Besides the obvious – good academics, safe environment, and a reasonable price tag – most Moms and Dads seem to worry about one major thing during the process of selecting a University with their child: Will they be alright ?

What does alright mean?

Well – what I’ve come to realize is that alright means self-sufficient, confident, and better than ever. Parents want their children to get a degree – of course – but what they really want, is their children to become… not children. University is a time of transition – of learning who and what you stand for, what you’re capable of, and how to go after it.

And yes – learning to choose your own bedtime and fold your own socks are a part of that.

I was walking back to my desk today at work when I realized how much I miss my friends from BU… a lot. Going away to Bishop’s  has given me the chance to be my own person, while still missing my friends from there all the time. BU’s taught me how having friends that aren’t clones of me is a good thing, and how important it is to define myself by what I do and what I care about.

I have become alright. I’m no longer that freshman who had to call home to ask my mom to make me a doctor’s appointment, or who –  honestly – didn’t know how to use an electric drill.

I make my own appointments,  put up my own shelves, and am – frighteningly enough – starting to grow up.

Don’t get me wrong – I love having my parents around (and I love seeing them), but I’ve also become okay without their immediate presence in my life – which makes all the difference.

BU has given me the chance to gain life skills and learn to be independent, while still fostering my individual talents and skills. I started thinking of my close friends and their future career paths – forensic lab whiz, lawyer, big-city financial guru, patient elementary school teacher, ingenious software programmer  etc. etc. etc. and I realized: we’re all totally different. We take part in very different extra-curriculars, spend our time doing totally different things, live in different cities during the summer, and have friends totally separate from each other as well – but we all came in as kids, and have become self-sufficient. We buy our own groceries, make our own beds – usually, and pay our own bills.

That’s one thing I love about Bishop’s so much – it’s not a factory, pumping out degrees. Bishop’s is a consortium of very, very, different people. But everyone gets from it what they need – the life skills and confidence to grow up and take the world by storm. It’s about realizing that you’re good enough to do anything and everything – even if that’s different from someone else’s version. So I realized – we’re all going to be very different adults – but we’ll be adults, and all happy in our own right.

So don’t worry, the kids are alright.

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