#CLEMAMA: Lessons of a Letdown

#CLEMAMA: Lessons of a Letdown

- in 2019 Editions, Magazine, November 2019, Parenting, Teens
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Photo submitted by Sara Carnes

Parents, don’t blink. 

Before you know it, you’ll be driving your kids to college, bawling your eyes out all the way home and be prepping them for what it’s like “to adult.” 

My oldest daughter is currently in her first year at college and loving it. How I am handling it? Well, let’s just say I’m pretty homesick for her. I’m so happy that she’s off doing her thing though, building her own friendships, learning and living. 

I will say the last year, packed with applying to schools and deciding where she should or would attend, wasn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it was just downright stressful. 

However, I think we all learned some valuable lessons in the process, the most important being how to handle a letdown. 

My daughter is a straight-A student, works super hard, attended Kent State University during high school in the College Credit Plus program (earning more than 20 credits) and was involved in some great extracurricular activities. She set the bar high when it came to where she dreamed of going to college to further her education. 

I always wanted to encourage that, at least to some extent. The hard part came when she got waitlisted at her top choice college, her “dream school.” It’s tough as a parent to watch your kids dream for so long, and then work so hard to get there, only to have it denied.  

Looking back on her situation, I think it was such a great lesson. I mean, how many times have you worked for something only to have “your promotion” go to someone else? Or the job go to someone else? 

Sometimes we just don’t know why things happen the way they do. Maybe things really do happen for a reason. That’s what I think, at least. 

As a parent, you always kinda have a gut feeling about things with your kids. You know what I mean, right? After all was said and done, I knew in my heart that the school she was waitlisted at wasn’t the right place for her anyway. 

Even though it was hard for her for a period of time, I could feel that good things were coming. And they did. She ended up in the honors program with several scholarships at another university where she is thriving now. She’s loving every minute of it and realizes now this is where she was meant to be. 

Learning from a letdown is something I think is good for kids. Sometimes as parents we try and shield our kids from every disappointment, when in fact that may do more harm than good. 

It’s important for kids to realize that sometimes they have to pivot and move on to go where they’re supposed to be. Whether it’s the soccer or dance team they wanted to be placed on or even the university they dreamed of attending. 

To sum it up, I think the three lessons she learned the most were these:

  1. Sometimes bad stuff can lead to the good stuff. 
  2. When life throws you a lesson, learn from it. 
  3. Accept your feelings and then gracefully move forward.

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