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December 30, 2011 / Tara

College Acceptance Letters Bring On Anxiety

When our children are born most of us think about all the opportunities we want them to have. Whether it is college, a good career a family or all three, our dreams for them can outweigh those of our kids. But when your kids are old enough to start creating their own goals and dreaming their own dreams, you want to support them in any way you can.

My oldest daughter recently started applying to college. She has a few schools she was really interested in so she applied early action. When she got her first acceptance letter I was overjoyed as was she. Seeing her set a goal and accomplish it was very rewarding for both of us as the last few years have been a real struggle. Attendance and performance have both been an issue due to her depression and anxiety and recently diagnosed fibromyalgia. So we went from three years ago assuming she would be accepted to most colleges to which she applied to worrying if she would be able to go to college at all. I felt like that first bit of weight lifted when she got her first acceptance. That in fact she could go to college.

But it didn’t take long until I started to really worry about her ability to handle living independently and especially if she goes three hours away to this school how she will handle her emotional difficulties and school. This college was one of my top picks for her in all aspects minus the distance. If not for her disability, I would definitely want her to travel a distance so she can grow as a young adult. Now I worry if she’ll be able to handle it even with services the school offers.

When she came to me the next day and said she hadn’t slept well the night before it was because she too is questioning if she will be successful living away from home and going to school. What should have just been a period of joy became anxiety provoking for my daughter which just doesn’t seem fair. Shouldn’t we both have the time to just enjoy that she got in to one of our favorite schools with a nice scholarship?

I know when the time comes, we will make the decision together that makes the most sense for her. I hope that there will be many more happy moments before we have to stress too much about the “where will she be” question. And I will try to encourage her to just enjoy these times and take pride in her accomplishments.

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