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Hot Corner: ‘Tis the season for sadness

By Rich Palzewic
Sports editor

The title this week might seem a little negative, but it’s not meant to be.

The latter part of August is a great time of sadness for many parents. I’m specifically talking about those that had graduating high school seniors in 2018 that are now off to college. In many cases, the student-athletes might make their parents “empty nesters,” meaning there are no other kids at home.

My daughter is too young to have me think about this right now, as she’s got potentially another 10 years before she leaves my wife and I childless in Howard.

There’s a big difference between students going back to a local school come September, as compared to possibly leaving for good when they go to college.

Yes, some will come back on weekends, over longer school breaks or during the summer, but I know for a fact there are many that might be gone for good. I pretty much knew that I’d be staying in the Midwest after graduation.

It’s been all over social media in the last few weeks – posts about how sad parents are after they dropped off their kids at various schools around the country. I’ve seen pictures from Idaho, South Dakota, Minnesota and Florida to name a few. I’ve gotten a little sad reading some of the posts myself, so I can definitely sympathize with all those involved.

When I graduated from small-town Stephenson High School in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in 1990, I thought I could conquer the world. Conquering the world at that point meant moving two hours away to Northern Michigan University in Marquette. I had a great relationship with my parents, so it really hit me hard during that first semester – I came home every weekend. I was actually pretty homesick, so I moved back home during winter break and attended a local community college for a full two years. When it was my time to continue my education, NMU came calling again. This time, I was ready. I still came home when I could, but being a few years older, I guess I was ready for a little more freedom.

It was bad enough being just two hours away, so I can’t imagine being a dozen or more away.

I challenge each of you reading this to do your part and reach out to a new college student-athlete and their parents – get an address, send a note or a care package, send them a text or offer to be an ear for them.

Your act of kindness will go a long way in helping with the transition.

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