Day 13: Cover your eyes!

Dear friends,

If you have a child or a grandchild in college, chances are your loved one’s college has a “confessions” social media outlet.

I know a little something about both university life and social media and more than I ever wanted to know about the kinds of things college students “confess.”

The trend started on Facebook several years ago, but it appears to have moved on to Twitter. The confessions are anonymous and range from crushes; to one-night-stand regrets; to run-of-the-mill complaints about roommates, parking, cafeteria food and stupid professors; to attention-seeking posturing; to age-old and pedestrian Greek rivalries; to obvious cries for help from young adults in distress; to deviant (or alleged deviant) behavior. It’s simultaneously boring, laughable, painfully familiar, and horrifying.

If you wish to preserve your faith and hope in the next generation, cover your eyes should you ever encounter a college confessions channel. If you’re a parent paying tuition, just don’t go there lest you stop payment on your check.

I accidentally stumbled across the confessional Twitter feed from Kate’s college when one of Kate’s friends retweeted a superficial compliment mentioning my daughter by name. I subscribed to the feed and have regretted it ever since because I find it utterly depressing most days and prefer not to think about the darker and/or shallow side of a rite of passage I long ago survived.

But today, a confession appeared in my feed that both surprised me and bolstered my diminishing hope in millennials. It simply said:

(My daughter) is a beautiful girl, inside and out.

I’m her mother, so of course I agree with the observation, especially on the inside part. But after days of posts about drunken parties and boorish behavior, it was a tiny ray of hope in a bleakly indulgent, privileged, overwrought morass of post-adolescent anxiety.

I’m not one to press my luck, so I immediately unsubscribed. Always go out on a high note, I say.

With gratitude {for the seemingly sweet and thoughtful soul who took the road less traveled},

Joan, who — not surprisingly — avoided the Animal House bacchanalia at her alma mater and, therefore, has no interesting collegiate stories around which most confessions are built

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Comments

  1. I applaud your un-subscription. I feel it is for the best, occasionally heart-warming compliments notwithstanding.

    I had one college bound kid who stuck close to home, attending the alma mater of both parental units, and one who was determined to GO, to get out of state and matriculate from a school as far away as possible.

    I found it harder not to worry (and with more specificity) about the closer-to-home student. I knew that campus all too well, knew all the shadiest traditions and was witness to local reporting on the intersection of student excess and law enforcement. With the student on the far-away campus it was much MUCH easier to maintain the fantasy that everybody there was intelligent, eager to attend classes, hit the books, all while avoiding the predictable pitfalls of relatively unsupervised young adulthood.

    It all falls into the Too Much Information category for me. In certain circumstances I’d really rather rely on trust in my kids without the distracting details.

  2. It’s downright weird to think of the days when kids called their parents collect on the dorm phone in the hallway and wrote the obligatory once-a-semester letter home.

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