Pandemic Reframe – Opportunity
“We all need to rise to the occasion of taking care of others. I am sure if we do this right, our students will be telling their grandchildren how they dealt with the great pandemic of 2020. And they will be a generation that will be admired for the way they handled it. This is an opportunity we have in front of us.”
— Julio Frenk, MD, PhD, President of the University of Miami
I’m scared shit#%** to send two of my three children back to college this fall, a senior at University of Miami, and my youngest, a sophomore at Tulane University.
Yup, one will be in what’s the epicenter of the pandemic right now with numbers still climbing, and the other in The Big Easy, New Orleans.
Last night, my daughter and I were talking about what college life might look like next month. I said I was sad for her and mourning her college experience.
She hit the brakes hard and told me directly, and in no uncertain terms, to stop using the word “mourn.” She went on to share that it’s going to be different, but she wants the opportunity to live in the dorms with her roommate and friends.
It will be their shared experience, albeit very different from the norm.
From what I’ve read on parent chat boards and heard from my friends, she’s like most college students determined to get back on campus. Our family is on the conservative side of safety precautions, keeping very much in our domestic “bubble,” but not every family is approaching COVID-19 in the same manner. It concerns me to read so many parents respond with “they’re going to party—get over it” sentiments. My anxiety kicks up a notch every time I read/hear something of that nature.
But maybe, just maybe, this fall can have a different frame, not one of complete fear, but one that includes opportunities to rise.
I always encourage my clients to “reframe” situations; is there a different lens that can change perspective? It looks like I need to take that advice myself—this parent needs to check herself and try out a new frame as well.
Despite my stress as a parent and what life may look like on college campuses, students will be returning.
Both Dr. Frenk and my daughter are helping me create a new frame. My eyes are teary, the lump in my throat grows and the pit of my stomach is knotty as I type, but I think they “get it.”
Their frames include opportunities to rise together.
To all the family members sending a loved one back to school this fall, I’m sending you a virtual hug.
Let’s do this right.