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Family feelings of their children moving away to University.

We all pass through many stages of life that pose individual challenges uniquely designed to make us question how much harder life is going to get? We start off as babies born without fear and needing only the basic necessities to live. And as we grow older into we start to desire more things develop our own opinions start having dreams and aspirations. Up until the age of 9 I dreamed of becoming a grocery store cashier purely due to my fascination with the noise of the buttons and the ‘Cha-ching’ noise the counter would make. Like many other parents of young children they entertained this dream by buying me toys and pretending our house was a carrefour.
But as we grow older our desires and dreams change yet again. Highschool comes around and I now have to start thinking about what subjects to choose what do I REALLY want to be. The generation I belong to is overwhelmed with choices. Technology and exposure has granted made life a lot easier but it has also made making decisions harder. Whenever I talk about schooling or career paths with my parents and their friends I without a doubt hear the classic line “when we were in school it was straight forward you had to choose between Science Engineering Accounting and Finance or Arts. We didn’t have as many choices as you do” And as true as it is part of me is envious. Because of all the choices we have now it is easy to get lost and even more confused.
This was obvious when I had to decide which Universities I was going to apply to. We even took the help of university counselors and advisors but of course nothing is that easy. Thankfully I have always been a good student and my grades and achievement are a reflection of that which only means one thing… more choices. After explaining my interests and career aspirations and the countries I was considering applying to I was talked through a list of potential universities that would be a good fit. However the more university fairs I would go to or the more I spoke to other people the longer that list became. I ended up applying to over 13 schools! Looking back majority of those were safety school because I was so afraid I would get rejected. Application season is over decisions are out and I have been accepted into all my schools. What was meant to be a straightforward decision was now even harder. Eventually the decision was made. And I’ve completed the entire ordeal of registering for classes and picking roommates.

Now whilst this entire process was a cycle of excitement and stress for me I can’t help but wonder how my parents would have felt during this period. I am their first child after all and it cant be easy to prepare to see your child leaving. I wasn’t allowed to go to sleepovers until I was a teenager so how would they let me go to the other side of the world in a foreign place we had never even been to before? Living in Dubai my entire life I am used to a very cocooned and utopian world that is safe and comfortable a life for which I am grateful for. Nevertheless in every conversation with my parents about moving out they always emphasise of the cultural and social shock I will experience when I leave my comfort zone and become vulnerable to peer pressure and “dangers of the real world”. In my head I like to believe I’m ready I’m a mature person how bad can it be? As the first child I was more of an experiment of sorts. All first happened with me and then the takeaways were applied to my younger sister. And as the oldest cousin in the family there aren’t that many people my parents can relate to in terms of emotions and dealing with empty nest syndrome. Every conversation at family gatherings revolve around it. Moving to college is an exciting and anxiety provoking process in a nutshell.

The transition between finishing High School and preparing for university is a surreal feeling. The drastic contrast between hustling through A level exams to and counting down the days to summer and now when summer has arrived and all of a sudden there is very little work to do is very difficult for my type A personality to fathom. At times it sounds like my family is getting prepared to send me on a one way mission to Mars! But that is probably equivalent to what it feels like in their eyes once I leave to comfortable shelter of their protection it is unlikely that I will return. Change is difficult but it is also exciting as it means taking on new journeys and growing up.

 

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