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When you come home from college...

Dear <fill in the blank>,

I am very happy you have gone to college.  College was very fun for a couple reasons; you learn how to learn and you fully develop as a person.

It really is a 50:50 proposition.  I hope you spend as much time on social as academic activities.  The friendships you forge in college will last you a lifetime.  Strike the balance for your well rounded development.

When you are at college, you are out of sight and not out of mind.  While I may not know where you are every minute, I know you are at your job.  I experimented in college, and am sure you will too.  Please be careful.

When you come home on break, please let me know what you are doing just so I don’t worry.

You see, when you are away at college your extended family of friends (be it other academic friends, fraternal friends, club friends, sport friends) keep an eye out for you.

When you are home, I want to know what you are doing.  You may think this is controlling, and let me explain it’s not.

If you are going to spend a night at a friend’s, let me know so I don’t worry.  If you are going to be really late, let me know so I don’t worry.

I’m not looking for a moment by moment accounting.  In fact, far from it.  You have your life to lead.  I just want to know you are safe.

It may seem odd, but I had an experience like this a number of years ago.  I had relocated to New England, and due to the school schedule you were going to follow a month or two later.  Good friends insisted I stay with them.  On my first night, I worked a little later and got a call from my friends, “Are you coming home?  We’re holding dinner for you.” 

We hadn’t talked about dinner, and I felt terrible about impacting the family dinner they had so kindly prepared.

Had I just let them know I’d be working late, they would have known.  Obviously, they were not controlling me.  Quite the contrary, they were being nice to me.

Just let me know generally what you are doing so everyone is clear on expectations.  It’s great having you home.

Love, Dad.