Hot Corner: ‘Tis the season for sadness
By Rich Palzewic
The title this week might seem a little negative, but it’s not meant to be.
The latter part of August is a time of sadness for many parents.
I’m specifically talking about seniors who graduated high school in 2020 and 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.
This year might be especially difficult with all the unknowns of COVID-19.
My daughter is too young for me to think about this now because she’s got potentially another eight years before she leaves my wife and me childless in Howard.
There’s a big difference between students going back to a local school in September, as compared to possibly leaving for good when they go to college.
Some will come back on weekends, over longer school breaks or during the summer, but I know many might be gone for good.
I knew I’d be staying in the Midwest after graduation.
It’s been all over social media the last few weeks – posts about how sad parents are after dropping their kids off at various schools around the country.
I’ve seen pictures from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Florida, to name a few.
I’ve gotten sad reading some of the posts myself, so I can 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 (NMU) in Marquette.
I had a great relationship with my parents, so it hit me hard during that first semester – I came home every weekend.
I was homesick, so I moved home during winter break and attended a local community college for two years.
When it came 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 was ready for more freedom.
It was bad enough being 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 a text or offer to be an ear.
Your act of kindness will go a long way in helping with the transition.