I am about to type something that I literally never thought that I would ever say:

My daughter joined a sorority.

Now you have to understand that my daughter is a serious, studious kid. She actually goes to museums with her friends. When she’s studying it is accompanied by Bach. She specifically looked at colleges that had a very small percentage of Greek Life…

Yet there she was pledging. Online. Can you imagine pledging, or whatever they call it now, online?

Can you imagine going to college online?

If you’re an introvert?

My daughter needs time to make friends. She was just starting to find her groove when pandemic brought everyone home last March.

Then…

Nothing.

It’s very hard to look at your child and know that they are sad…

She is not a naturally vivacious person. She was fortunate to have had amazing friends throughout elementary, middle and high school. She was surrounded by a wonderful circle with whom she still keeps in touch with.

But college…

She is a joiner. Her two page resume attests to that. But she struggles with that next step…how does one go from acquaintance to friend…

So imagine being like that and being forced to do all your communication online.

Hence…she decided that the best way to make friends would be a sorority.

I give her so much credit for going far out of her comfort zone. She see’s an issue and then figures out how to fix it. I’ve never been good at that, so I’m thrilled that she has a can-do attitude. She doesn’t sit around waiting for things to change. She just does something to fix her situation…

But that doesn’t mean she’s thriving under this imposed virtual learning environment…

Her school has decided to be virtual again next semester.

She has decided that she is only taking one class. She is tired of learning in a bubble. This is not the college experience that she dreamed about as she was studying her tail off for twelve years…

It’s not the college experience and education that I scrimped and saved 18 years to pay for…

I look at my daughter and my heart breaks. Her attitude is great, all things considered. But she’s still sad. She’s done everything she could, she’s doing everything she can…but yet…it’s not enough.

And there’s nothing I can do to help.

Is there anything worse for a parent than seeing their kid unhappy?

She got her official sorority t shirt yesterday. She put it on immediately. She needs that sense of belonging, of being a part of something greater than herself…

Then she got offered an internship…

Small wins. I’m happy with small wins. I’m thrilled with small wins.

I’m thrilled with anything that makes life just a little bit better for her.

So I’ll take a picture of her in her T shirt.

I’ll listen to the pros and cons of the internship.

And I’ll do anything I can to be there for her if she needs me.

I have to accept that all I can do is support her.

I don’t have the ability to fix anything.

83 thoughts on “She Got the T Shirt…

  1. That’s so great that she is finding ways to make her life better despite everything going on! You did a great job , mom. I feel sad about my kids’ present and future, too, but I guess it will make them stronger, maybe like the ‘greatest generation’. I’m holding out hope for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The worst thing for me has been how it is affecting my kids. I miss my daughter but I’m glad she opted to move to an apartment near campus so she can be with her friends. I’m glad she has friends who are careful and that they get tested regularly. Her college did a good job of trying to give students some sort of campus experience and didn’t have any large outbreaks. I hope your daughter gets to have a normal college experience in the fall and that the sorority helps.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, here I go again, possibly sounding a bit trite and cloying about you and your daughter, LA. But really, as the mom to two now adult daughters, I’ve felt (and continue to feel) your angst over them. IDK, maybe that’s why my marriage broke up.

        After all, my about-to-be-ex-spouse told me over and over, near the end, that he was #5 on the list of my priorities with our two mutual daughters being 1 and 2. My mom with whom I now live as I try to get her to continue some semblance of a good life with Alzheimer’s and failing sight (not to mention pandemic) was #3 but I couldn’t figure out who #4 was until the POSSOB finally told me it is my late father, even now 15 years after his death! He told me I was always his #1 but clearly there is reason to doubt the truth of that contention. I think I was at most #2 after his obsession with beer.

        Since I have 2 girls, and my only sibling is also a girl, I know I couldn’t relate to boys, whom I am told are quite different. I always referred to eldest as “mini-me” and the whole family thought youngest was very much like her father. I have found out, though, as they became adults, that that is not the case. This has certainly made my life and role as a parent very interesting, to say the least.

        Now, finally, to my point about how you’re dealing with your daughter. I didn’t talk much to my youngest for a good part of her high school and college years. The reason was that, as my mom did with my sister and me, I felt her pain too much and became frustrated when she kept nagging me for guidance on what to do and seemed to ignore the advice I had already given. Our conversations went around in circles, especially when we lived under the same roof. For that reason, she was “forced” to learn a lot on her own. Fortunately she did that, which makes me extremely proud, even though she has been reluctant to share many of the details with me, probably because she fears I’ll want to know EVERYTHING, as she has seen in my relationship with my mom and as she experienced when she went to college and lived for several years near her grandma.

        As I say, way too often, our kids are adults. If we’ve raised them right, by now they’ll figure out on their own what to do and to do what makes them happy, even if they have to suffer some pain and misery in the process. I think we’re there to give them a shoulder to cry on, advice (especially if they are wise and comfortable enough to ask us for it) and to help them out if we think they can and/or if they ask. I also often say I like to give them enough rope to hang themselves on but to keep it slack enough so I can step in to keep them alive if it reaches that point, figuratively speaking of course.

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      2. My angst is situational. I hate seeing what the forced isolation of the pandemic has done to the young kids. She shouldn’t be taking her classes virtually from her bedroom, or joining a sorority online, or just living in her childhood bedroom. I feel bad because she can’t do the things she worked hard to do. She’s handling it ok, but I hate seeing her sad

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  3. This school year has been somewhat unbearable for teenagers. I’ve seen it at my house too (the loneliness, the need for activity that can’t be). She’s taking initiative and trying to find new ways to make friends. Kudos to her.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I hear you. My son was watching, not joining things, in his first year of high school (he’s quiet and an introvert). Grade 10 promised some new opportunities, and we encouraged him to keep an open mind and try things. Then…covid. Ugh.

    Now?

    YouTube/Netflix/chat and in-class/virtual school. Almost no sports. No socializing. It’s so frustrating.

    My daughter starts high school in September. Can we please have a more normal time by then? I’m not even asking for complete normal, but a less restrictive life might be nice…

    Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is so hard to watch your child hurt or struggle. You want to just fix it all and not only can’t you do that but you shouldn’t do it. She seems to have made plans on her own to remedy her issues and that sort of thing will serve her in the long run. The college “experience” was different for both of my kids and I am grateful they didn’t have to go through what students are going through now, but their visions of what it would be and what it was were different.

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    1. I’m not a fixer. I always let her do what she needs to. And it’s never easy. But now, to watch her try everything possible and still struggle…that’s the hard part. She’s giving 1000% and it’s not enough

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  6. I think that’s a great decision on her part to join a sorority. She will make new friends and connections that will last a lifetime. I’m struggling with my daughter’s unhappiness. She had a great college experience with built in friendships being on the swim team. Swimming was her life, and now that she’s an adult, she had a job with swim manufacturer. With COVID-19, she was let go….It’s hard to watch her so frustrated, alone, unemployed….and fighting anxiety and depression. She’s not alone in that struggle. It’s an immensely difficult time for teens and young adults.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What an amazing and resilient daughter you have! Good for her taking on the unknown and hoping for the best. I wonder if this generation will be so much more adaptable and innovative than ours because of this virus? C

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Go, Little LA ! What a go getter!
    I do worry for the young ones who aren’t natural go getters nor have the support of family and friends. What will become of them ? I guess it will all come out in the post covid wash. I am hopeful that this experience will have taught us all to be kinder and more gracious so that we can all help those left behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Totally understand. Good for her, making that step outside her comfort zone. Takes courage. Although she and me and many other people are introverts, humans are naturally social beings. Their wellbeing actually depends on interacting with other humans. She’s resourceful. You must be so proud of her.

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  10. It really is sad how this situation plays out for all students. College students can look at it as an involuntary gap year and a half. Then it’s going to get somewhat back to normal. I can sense how heartbreaking it is for you to watch after all the hard work and planning. No one wants a sad child.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is awesome! As mothers we want our children happy and feeling safe, secure. Sometime I feel our heartbreaks more for them then their own heartbreaks when life throws them curveballs. And wow, this damn virus is such a nasty curveball.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed!! My youngest has Covid, currently she is on the mend and was able to stay home. Sick, but not bad like some have it. I swear it send me more into a frenzy than her!! Especially because I couldn’t do anything for her or see her.

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  12. Awe, what a lovely story and post, LA. Your daughter reminds me of my oldest. It’s hard, hard. For them, mostly; and, yet, then, even for us. It is. A well done to and for your daughter getting out of her comfort zone. So important. And, nice work, well, on everything, Mom. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes!! It is very difficult seeing your child going through challenges that are making them sad. I’ve been enduring that with my own daughter. She’s 31, but there’s a lot happening in her life right now. But I feel blessed that she feels comfortable reaching out to me to talk and for advice. I’m glad your daughter is doing whatever she can to try to improve her situation. What a great attitude she has!!

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  14. Few things are worse than watching our children suffer in any way. But you’re right, you can’t fix this, you can only support her. And it sounds as if she is making some headway on her own, joining a sorority and getting an internship. That’s a good sign that she is working to improve a difficult situation, which will teach her more in the end than if you were able to fix any of this. I feel so sorry for everyone whose dreams have been skewered by this virus, but luckily, most people will get a second chance at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Congrats to her for stepping outside of her comfort zone. As a former sorority member, being part of a larger group like that can result in lasting friendships after college. Once this is over and she is back on campus, I hope she can really connect with these young women and they can share bonds of friendship in person.

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      1. Congrats!! I can’t imagine what online pledging consists of, but I’m sure she’ll be awesome at it! May she bond with the girls in her pledge class and enjoy getting to know her sorority sisters!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. This is why we sent our daughter to college. I was so relieved that her school decided to open for freshmen only. She is not a social person, so she was really living in a cave up until August. She blossomed so much during first semester, and I’m happy that they’re opening for second semester. They’ve had Covid-19 cases, but managed to keep it under control. Hopefully, your daughter can get back to Georgetown next fall. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. She sounds like a wonderful young lady. I hope we get some normalcy again soon. It is sad and ridiculous what we are doing to our young people when the survival rate of Covid is 99%+. We need to use the therapeutics that are available and protect the elderly and those with underlying conditions. We need to open up our society. In Japan, more people died of suicide in October than died of Covid in all of the year. Both “sides” of the media are reporting this. In NM, the pediatric psychiatric hospitals are full. This is a travesty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve said this since March. Mental health is being undervalued and it’s going to be a greater issue than the virus. If you get a chance to read my Friday post I wrote an example of people seeing what they want to see, not actually what is happening

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