A Letter of Panic

An open letter to the dearest and most dedicated UTD parents,

Congratulations! Your child is officially in college and an adult in the crazy world we live in. They are now currently taking their first steps to developing into functional adults who will someday enter the workforce and have influence in the world’s economy. What an amazing milestone to have reached at last. All those useful high school classes and exams have finally paid off and gotten them to this point.

Of course, this event is bittersweet for any parent. The sudden realization that you won’t be able to see them every day or as often as before may hit you like a thousand bricks. The very idea of the pitfalls they may face is terrifying; no good parent wants their dear ones to have a hard time during college.

Here at AMP, we want to express our sympathies and address your fears, so that you can feel more at ease with this brand new incoming change in your lives. We will ensure that all worries are dealt with so that your student is able to enjoy school and other activities without any outside meddling.
Take a deep breath.

Hold it in.

And let it out.

Repeat this and clear your mind of all nagging thoughts. Don’t think about anything. Don’t think about your sweet, innocent little What’s-Their-Name going to college and moving into a new home. Where their roommates will definitely not be party people and will not stay up until four in the morning, all night every night.

Furthermore, don’t plague yourselves with thoughts about whether or not they’ll be taking meaningful classes. Literary Studies is a much sought-after area by our students that has several real-life applications, including Literary Studies Professor and ‘Error: No Results Found.’ Certainly, the workload will be manageable — given that high school is a fantastic way to train people to rely on little sleep — so their dreams in such majors and others will be more than achievable. In regards to the extracurricular classes they may experiment with, please do consider that many of these classes teach practical skills that can be used in real-life scenarios. For example, when you get stranded on an uninhabited island and have nothing to carry your food, basket weaving would be a very practical skill.

As you plan to see your student in whatever spare time everyone has, please don’t look for any change in eating habits whatsoever. Of course they’re eating healthy and consistently everyday — their glucose levels have never looked so significantly above average. Neither have their carbohydrate, sodium or sucrose levels — all signs of a good, consistent diet. And the time away from home has given them a wonderful opportunity to hone their culinary skills in the kitchen by means of experimentation. Trial and error is a well-recognized method for any new cook, and the dish combinations are to be admired. Everyone knows that charcoal makes a fine seasoning on just about anything for the most determined of digestive tracts. And if nothing else, by the end of the first semester’s worth of kitchen science, your student will be an expert in purchasing kitchenware whenever something is permanently ruined.

This brings up another constant concern for any responsibly concerned adult — monetary needs. Despite its multiple uses and opportunities, there’s no doubt that the university life is an expensive life. Tuition, rent, and meal plans cost money, which can take quite a chunk out of whatever resources are left to deal with health insurance, car insurance, books, supplies, groceries, and so, so, so much more. Thankfully, every university comes with loan programs that are easy to pay back. To gain access to the loans, students must complete a mere stack of hundreds of pages of paperwork. Especially if you major in Literary Studies. Scholarships are, of course, always available for hardworking students. After paying for books and school supplies, your student might have enough for a month of rent… two months if you’re lucky.

Not to mention the more nerve-wracking issues such as — oh dear, I’m rambling now. At the end of the day, your student is their own person. While they will make mistakes from time to time, ultimately they will learn from them. The whole purpose of university is to learn, regardless of methodology. Take a deep breath, hug your kid, and watch with pride as they experiment with who they are and who they want to be.

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