**This Jason’s Blog entry is a bit more personal than usual. I hope you still find it helpful**
Today, our family will travel together to move our oldest child and only daughter (and sister) to college.
I’m a first generation college graduate. I grew up professionally in the higher ed. administrative and teaching spaces. I’ve made my life’s work engaging with college and university leaders to better their institutions. I’ve been on over 100 college and university campuses and attended every type of special event and activity. Simply put, higher education has profoundly shaped me as person and as a professional.
And, yet, when I think of all my varied experiences with higher education, I’ve never before felt this specific combination of emotions. Excitement. Sadness. Enthusiasm. Loss. Hopefulness. Apprehension.
It’s a complex time. And, if I’m honest, a time that can feel more oriented to loss than to gain.
But inflection points in life – any substantive changes, really – come with hidden, unappreciated, perhaps even unknowable, benefits.
Recently, one of my friends shared his story of dropping off his first-born daughter at college. He said that the situation was especially difficult for him because of the exceptionally close relationship he shared with her.
“But,” he said, “one day, out of the blue, you’ll get a phone call from her. And she’ll say excitedly, ‘Dad, we just discussed something in class and I wanted to talk with you about it. . . ”
“And, you’ll realize from that call,” he continued, “that your relationship with her hasn’t diminished at all. In fact, it’s expanded. She’s still your daughter, but now she’s fully becoming your friend.”
Change is never all bad. Sometimes, it just takes a while to see the benefits.