Just a few heart beats before the rising score of Pomp and Circumstance she rises. In a sea of bright, hope-filled faces she stands. With a brush of the hand, she slides the tassel of her cap from right to left in unison with the class. The spectating crowd erupts, the ceremonial music lifts and the joyous tears fall.
It’s graduation day and the memories flood in like waves. The air is filled with a myriad of emotions and mental snapshots of years of challenge and triumph your daughter has experienced. Inside you are excited! No more boring back-to-school nights, mid-day lunch deliveries or late night projects to concern you. Your mind looks forward to summer vacation, trunk parties and the ultimate college road trip.
For years you’ve anticipated this amazing season of growth for your daughter which is now an equally major time of transition for you. Here are a few tips for embracing this new season in both your lives.
- Celebrate the Achievements
Look at old photos together and talk about events. Discuss the lessons you both learned. Use pictures to create scrapbook pages or memory boards that can be signed by guests at grad or trunk parties. Create digital collages together and post to your favorite social media account on #tbt days. Enjoy the comments and laughs together that family and friends share. Perhaps you’ll find a few nuggets of wisdom.
- Talk About Your Fall Plan
Having a plan is a great way to avoid social and academic slumps. You will both need this. Planning short term is best because this is a new space for her and possibly for you too. Talk about possible courses of study, enrichment classes or part-time work. This is a great time to use electives for exploration for her and non credit courses (i.e. arts, language or technology) for you. Activities like these are springboards for making new connections, meeting new people and expanding your environment.
- Recreate Your Space
Life transitions are perfect times to redesign our living spaces inside and out. New spaces should reflect your interests and showcase things that inspire you. Print, decorate, frame and hang. Use fabrics, photos and color to fill your dorm or workspace. Make inspirational quotes and affirmations that embody your goals using simple apps. Harmonious surroundings provide inspiration, comfort and security for the soul.
- Journal Your Thoughts
Journals are a great way to work through the emotions you’ll both experience over the next few months. A journal can help you reflect on experiences, capture great ideas and record awe-inspiring events that happen on the simplest of days. Purchase a journal from a local bookstore or indie retailer in your area. Create a digital journal using Tumblr or Instagram and invite your friends to take the journey with you. Months or even years later look back at your entries and marvel at your growth.
Touch is one of the most powerful forms of expression. Its let’s us know we are present and that we matter in a crowded world. As we race forward with technology and innovation the ability to touch becomes more and more important. So create cooking dates to make your favorite meals together. Enjoy old movies with bags of popcorn, big pillows and a few buddies. Hug long and hug often.
Enjoy these special moments in a big way! You’ve worked hard. Now play hard too! Before you know it will be time to make the big move. No worries though! Great things lay ahead.