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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Away Alone

It’s that time again, the time when they shut down half of the streets in Oakland while yellow laundry carts crisscross the campus, stuffed to the gills with lava lamps, microwaves, and refrigerators.

Mothers will weep as they say goodbye to their little birds leaving the nest.   Yet, Fathers will dispense words of wisdom to their sons about responsibility and adulthood, all while noticing the crop of young coed girls.   Moms will sigh, Dads will say, “Sick em, boy!”  And thus the cycle begins, again.  Those clean cut kids from suburbia will turn into tattoo getting, bong toking, mistake making animals, all the while surviving solely on Rum, Ramen, and Red Bull.

However, research says that the average college student isn’t having any more sex than the ones from 25 years ago.  Really?  Maybe not, unless they just aren’t admitting to it.  I’d venture to say they are, or at least they are redefining what the definition is and who it is with these days.  I'm sure patrols are still set up in the quad to take note of all those participating in the Walk of Shame 5K.

Now, before parents go completely bonkers over this kind of thing, you have to understand, college is uncharted territory.  Remember that scene in Home Alone?

That’s what it’s like.  You go from a sheltered environment to complete and utter freedom.  No one is there to make sure you get up, go to class, do your homework, or take care of yourself.   You step onto that campus and 7 years of suppressed primal freedom just explodes.  You lose your composure.  There’s vice everywhere and no authoritative body to say no, outside of campus police.  Kids are basically kicked out of the nest into the real world and expected to make the right decision.  And even if you are the best parent in the world, expect there to be some bad choices made.  And also realize, that it’s OK. 

Your kids will be fine.  They are going to have to go through this, eventually.  Would you rather them have that moment in the real world, when they are completely on their own, with no parachute, or benefits?

Even adults have these moments.  I was left alone to my devices last weekend and for two days, I managed to eat at Sheetz twice for lunch.  I did, however, do some work around the house, cut the grass, and kept the place from catching fire, so win!

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