On Friday, Aug. 26, we drove our middle son to college. He has been living at home and attending community college. He now begins the next chapter of his life by moving into the dorm at a nearby four-year college.
I have mixed feelings about this move. I feel excited for him. He will face a new challenge to delve more deeply into the topics that interest him. He will meet new people with whom he can have great discussions. Part of me feels sad. I will miss him a lot when he is no longer sleeping under our roof. Another part of me feels worried. I know that temptations can be great in college dorms. I know that we have given him a good, strong foundation in faith and morals, but I wonder if he will make good choices.
There are a few things we have encouraged him to do as he settles in at his new school. First, find out when and where Mass will be held. Get to know the campus ministry team. Whether or not he participates in Mass regularly will be his decision, but we want him to know that Eucharist is available to him. Next, learn where to turn for help. Know where the tutoring centers and the counseling center and the campus ministry offices and the health office are. Third, get involved. A new beginning at a new college is the perfect opportunity to explore a new interest. Look for a way to volunteer. Join a club. Go to an activity.
During the time he has been living at home and attending community college, we have done our best to give him roots. All of the family dinners and conversations and prayers have brought us to this. Now it is time to say goodbye. It is now time to let him take flight and test his wings.