My daughter’s college chose to go virtual this semester.
I am still irrationally mad about this.
For fun, I’m going to list all the things that my daughter has done virtually this year:
- Training for becoming an orientation counselor
- Training to be a peer advisor
- Actual orientation counselor
- Actual peer advisor
- Train to be a mentor
- Actual mentor
- Ran meetings to be parts of the organizations she’s involved in
- Leading students on the moot court team to prep for a virtual tournement
- Pledged a sorority (I don’t know if it’s still called pledging)
- Attends live classes every week
- Applied for multiple virtual internships
- Works at a virtual internship
- Attends sorority meetings
- Attends a billion other meetings
- Attends office hours
- Has held office hours
- Tutors kids
I’m sure if I asked her there would be more things. She spends a lot of time in front of her computer…
Isn’t it funny that a year ago we would have called a kid spending that much time in front of a computer a psychopath or anti social and was in line to be/do something nefarious?
Now we call them resilient.
Whenever I tell people that this virtual learning stuff is BS, I’m hit with the positivity police:
“You know- it’s not that bad. They’ll do fine>’
Well, let’s start with that “fine” is not really the outcome anyone wants of their child. They want them to thrive.
But let’s look at this another angle:
Would kids have been fine if we didn’t give them participation trophies all those years? See, to me, that was how we taught kids resilience. We let them lose and tell them it’s OK and that the sun still will shine tomorrow…
My daughter has entered and lost far more things than she has won. She still has a pretty impressive collection of trophies, plaques and certificates. (she’s gotten ridden of anything that reeked of participation alone)
She has been resilient her entire life.
She was the first grader who walked in the door and did her homework before anything else. (though she spent the first hour or two after school either on the playground, at a playdate or at a lesson)
She was the kind of kid that when given a project with a future due date, she would figure out how many hours she needed to work on it each night so she wasn’t rushed and finishing it at the last minute.
She laid out her books the night before to make sure everything she needed was in her backpack.
She was always prepared for class.
If she signed up for an activity she showed up when she was supposed to. She listened to whatever coach or teacher or parent was in charge. ‘
She was respectful of everyone.
So yes, even in these challenging times my daughter is resilient.
She is making the best of a bad situation.
That still doesn’t mean she’s good…or the situation is good…
Last semester she finished with first honors which means she had a GPA of greater than 3.9. Now, before you’re all like, well, I’m sure the school was lenient... because people don’t necessarily want to see someone thrive…I’ll give you another little factoid. 50% of the kids at her school chose to take the pass/fail option, so things weren’t quite so easy. (to add- my kid goes to a competitive school with a very low acceptance rate)
Or 50% of the kids were not so resilient.
Because here’s the thing:
We can scream till we are blue in the face about how the kids are fine…
Yet, how many kids out there went home and did homework without prodding?
Took their time doing a project?
Showed up for practices?
Actually practiced something?
Accepted a loss with grace and dignity and still got up to try again?
And then tell me how you think those kids are doing?
As my daughter enters the third hour of her sociology class, even she’s starting to wither…
How do you think other kids are doing?
Here’s what I think we are doing to the youth of today:
In the name of keeping them safe, we are ruining them.
Let me make this clear. This is my opinion. There are no “facts” or “statistics”. But right now, this will be a lost generation.
If you have someone under 25 in your life, make sure they are Ok mentally. Be their support system. Make sure they’ve even reached fine on a scale of bad to good… Make sure they are resilient as you think they are.
on a slightly different note: My daughter needs to find someone to interview for her history class. They must be American and old enough to have been at least a teenager during the 1960’s. They also need to have done something noteworthy such as been in Vietnam, or attended protests against the war, or were at Woodstock, or saw the Beatles live, marched for civil rights or gay rights or women’s rights, or something that was out of the ordinary, and was clearly part of what we now know as 60’s history. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org