One of the most challenging moments of parenthood is that inevitable point where your child leaves the nest and makes their way to college. How is a dental professional to cope?
When your children reach the moment of venturing off to start their own careers, the experience can make you reflect on your own in strange and surprising ways. Plus, add onto that the stress of scholarships, potential loans, the quality of education, and the general debauchery engaged in on a university campus, and you’ve got a very stressed parent indeed.
The Struggles of Sending Your Kid to College
How can you survive this big transition? And what should you expect? We’ve got a few tips and pieces of advice that will help you make it through.
A Good College Isn’t What it Used to Be
As a dentist, you’re most likely a very success-oriented person who feels a lot of pride over where you went to dental school. But the ways a successful college education is defined are changing. The prestige of an Ivy League or a big-name college may never fully disappear, but it certainly isn’t as valuable as it used to be. Don’t obsess over where you child is going. Be more concerned about their fears, excitement, and overall mindset about attending college.
Strategize With Finances
The nice thing about dentistry is that it confers a certain amount of financial stability. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t learn as much as you can about financing college as possible. You can suggest scholarship searching tools like the Scholly app to your child. You can also benefit from researching FAFSA guidelines, payment options, extraneous fees, and the cost of travel, food, and leisure. College is an enormous expense and it’s continuing to rise. Plan ahead.
It’s difficult not to think of universities as breeding grounds for cavities and insanity (excessive consumption of energy drinks during all-nighters is a dentist’s nightmare). You may feel like you’re dropping your child into the lion’s den with little to no ability of helping them navigate it. There are too many bogey-men to count: parties, drugs, fried food, etc. But recognize that you can’t change the realities of college life and you raised them to make the right choices.
Stop and take a breath.
Don’t Freak Out Too Much
And then there’s you. It’s not abnormal to be blue when your kid leaves home. You’ve spent about eighteen years seeing them all the time, and now they have their own life somewhere that isn’t with you. Recognize that sadness in the face of such a huge change is okay. You may need to take more time to yourself and you may find it difficult to go about your regular work at the practice as joyously and efficiently as usual.
Lean on your other family members and your team for support.
What are your thoughts on sending kids to college? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!